on 11 May 2003
After 10 years of military service, Glinnes Hulden returns to his family home on the planet Trullion, and finds that things have changed. Suspicious deaths and the rise of a new cult have turned his family and his own world upside down. Requiring a large amount of money in a hurry, it seems that he must again take up the sport of "hussade".
Vance lovingly details the complex niceties of the "hussade" game, providing such depth and cover (and yet in his entertaining style) that one can only wonder when we shall see the first "hussade" event at the Olympics !!
The plot and characters are in turns steeped and swirled in intrigue, guile and trepidation.
A very good read -- Vance's stories are rarely dull, and this is no exception. Fans of the author may notice a few loose ends here and there (which is uncommon for this master of elegant of plot lines) -- I can only assume that this was deliberate.
For readers new to the "Alastor" Cluster books (which are at best only loosely connected), this should be read first.