This is the coming-of-age story of Reza Gard, a young boy of the Human Confederation who is swept up in the century-long war with the alien Kreelan Empire. Nightmarish female warriors with blue skin, fangs, and razor sharp talons, the Kreelans have technology that is millennia beyond that of the Confederation, yet they seek out close combat with sword and claw, fighting and dying to honor their god-like Empress. Captured and enslaved, Reza must live like his enemies in a grand experiment to see if humans have souls, and if one may be the key to unlocking an ages old curse upon the Kreelan race. Enduring the brutal conditions of Kreelan life, Reza and a young warrior named Esah-Zhurah find themselves bound together by fate and a prophecy foretold millennia before they were born.
Banished from the Kreelan Empire, Reza is once again a stranger in a strange land as he returns to the human Confederation. Befriended by a marooned Confederation naval officer leading a desperate fight against the Kreelans on a distant colony world, she reunites Reza with Nicole Carré. With their help, he fulfills his childhood dream of becoming a Confederation Marine. Reza will need all the help he can get, for dark forces are at work at the heart of the Confederation, and Reza becomes a pawn in a lethal power struggle that leads him back to the planet Erlang. There, a heartbreaking reunion awaits him, along with the discovery of an ages-old power that the Kreelan Empire will stop at nothing to control.
Reza awakens in a hospital on Earth after having been in a coma for months. Charged with murder and high treason, he finds himself the scapegoat for a daring plot to assassinate the President of the Confederation. Escaping with the help of Jodi Mackenzie, who is now hunted for what she knows about the death of the president, Reza discovers that something is deeply wrong with the Empire: the warriors have lost their will to fight. Compelled to step into a trap set for him and Jodi, the two once again find themselves bound for Erlang. But this time it is to meet Tesh-Dar, who has been captured. When Reza and Jodi are taken prisoner and sentenced to death, they can only watch as a human armada gathers for a strike against the Kreelan homeworld. But the human fleet - and humanity itself - will be doomed to utter annihilation unless Reza can reach the Empress in time.