Emperor Theodyne the Great, champion of the Final War, has perished, and in his dying breaths were contained the last whispers of peace the galaxy might ever know. His sire, the Doomed Prince, is on the run, and the Royal House of Ilia in ruin. His long-time allies, the feudal houses spanning entire planetary systems, struggle for supremacy: the ruthless House of Thorne, the proud but opportunistic House of Highbattle; even the House of Rickon grasps for what was lost to their conquering emperor. Who will rise to the throne of stars? And on a far-flung, radioactive planet once known as Gaia, a stranger seeks the truth about his homeworld’s desolation, a secret that may soon make Gaia the center of the universe. But to save his world, the stranger must travel beyond known space, past the Wardens, to the realm beyond, in a journey that no human has ever come back from.