Just realised I hadn't actually reviewed this book already. It's the third in the Vatta's War trilogy, and boy is it good. Believable sci-fi, with a fantastic plot and all those little details that create an alternate reality to escape into. The Vatta empire is under threat, Ky Vatta one of the only family members who remains alive. More, the communications network supposed to provide real-time communications across the vast distances of space (too big to be aboard a ship), are out in parts. So while Ky and her cousin Stella try to not only stay alive, but begin to run their trading business once more, other members of the family are still under threat. A thrilling novel, full of fantastic societies, gripping action, and spell-binding intrigue.
On a slightly different, but related note: the author's name, Elizabeth Moon. Is that not the best name for a sci-fi writer to have? And from what I can see, it's not even a pseudonym... Just thought I couldn't leave that without comment.
Seriously though, I highly recommend this book. Haven't read the ones that come before, but if they're anything like this one... Ky Vatta is a brilliant character, as are Stella and Toby and Rafe and... I could go on. However, for anyone who's into the whole sci-fi/fantasy thing, I can't recommend this enough. And for anyone who isn't... You don't know what you're missing out on :)