Original and provocative science fiction from an author famed for her fantasy writings. Subtitle: Lessons Along a Minor String. When the warrior Wanbli came of age, he cast his lot among the stars and left the world where he'd been born. Left it, he thought, forever. His odyssey led him to one ship, then another, and to another still. It brought him face to face with the far-flung members of the universe's Seven Sentient peoples. And, finally, it brought him to the colony ship Commitment. There, Wanbli learned the true purpose of his life - a mission so vital that it required risking the lives of everyone on the ship and the future of his home world. His mission meant returning to that world but only if he could survive the deadly machinations of those who sought to stop him.