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Concubine's son, illegal witch child, consummate trader for a world in bondage. On Nublis he proved his worth. But the prophecy was only that one would be born who might have the strength to endure and end the bondage of a world.
When the Interplanetary corporate raider Lord Ephraim of Seira stops on the planet Nublis, it is only to pick up his new ship and go on to the opening of the Interplanetary Synod Assembly. The death of his mysterious partner, and the young heir to whom he's left his considerable fortune complicate things. When his new ship is bombed his path crosses those of Nublis's Emperor Julian and his brother Prince Cassius, and none of their lives will ever be the same again.
At sunrise, the air around the mountain peak on which he stood was as crystal clear and cold as an icy spring. The color of the lightening sky was at that exact point between azure and rose where it has no name and the cry of the eagles wheeling in the firmament above pierced him like a knife.
From his vantage point, he could see the planet spreading out in every direction. Over to the east towered the great cities, their skies permanently shrouded in pollution from countless factories in which myriads of workers toiled from sunup to sundown.
On the edge of the largest city, Guilliam, sprawled the huge spaceport from which the cargo ships arose day and night, laden with finished goods to be delivered throughout the length and breadth of the Synod. As fast as the loaded ships left, empty ones would come into the docks they had just vacated and stand there with their bays open like hungry mouths waiting to be filled.