series remains a mix of compelling storytelling. . .
keeps returning to the possibility of right action in an hideously
wrong world, of decency struggling to assert itself despite the
threat of pain and death."
Chief Medical Officer aboard the Jurisdiction Fleet Ship RAGNAROK,
Andrej Koscuisko's duty is to care for his shipmates; as Inquisitor,
to extract confessions and administer punishment. But while the
doctor takes pride in his healing skills, the torturer knows only
guilt and self-loathing. For years, Andrej has walked the razor's
edge, struggling to hold the two sides of his nature apartand
While the Ragnarok's crew readies the planet Burkayden
for the arrival of its new governor, a brutal attack on a Nurail
slave woman by a ship's officer sets in motion a chain of events
that culminates in murder. Summoned at first to minister to the
injured woman, Andrej is soon pressed into duty as Inquisitor
of the prime murder suspect: a gentle and unassuming Nurail gardener
who had both motive and means to avenge his kinswoman. But Andrej
is surrounded by powerful enemies, including two intelligence
specialists who take a most unwelcome interest in his private
affairs. In this minefield of intrigue and deception, where a
single misstep means death, Andrej's always precarious equilibrium
will be strained to the breaking pointand beyond.