Ferbin and Oramen are the misfit heirs of conquering King Hausk of the Sarl, who rules a backward and patriarchal realm deep beneath the surface of the artificial Shellworld Sursamen. Their exiled sister, Djan, is now a powerful agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances division. When King Hausk is murdered, Ferbin narrowly avoids the conspirators and sets out to ask Djan's help, but soon they learn of the horrific forces a hidden enemy is about to unleash. Some descriptions of sex, descriptions of violence, and some strong language.
Government investigators -- Fiction.
Imaginary wars and battles -- Fiction.
Life on other planets -- Fiction.
Murder -- Fiction.
Reynolds, Kathy, narrator.