After escaping from pirates with an emperor's ransom in loot in NASTRAGULL: Pirates, young Alec Horn takes refuge in a roving collective of space stations and massive starships called New Frontier. A freewheeling neutral territory, New Frontier is an ideal place for him to regroup and outfit an expedition to rescue the colleagues captured along with him. For Alec is actually Alec von Hornet, noble son of the noble house of Hornet, military leaders of the Nastasturus Federation. He's already managed to rescue Alexa, the pirate girl he's fallen for, from the clutches of the notorious Zoris af Sun--an artist of questionable and downright cannibalistic tastes. But Alec has made immensely powerful enemies, who will spare no expense to destroy him and recover what they consider rightfully theirs. Along with fleets from Nastasturus and the rival Florencian Federation, three massive pirate armadas descend like locusts upon New Frontier, triggering a cataclysmic battle. Crippled and flung deep into space by an explosion, Alec's ship becomes the quarry of every bounty hunter, news agency, pirate, pirate hunter, and government in the sector. His fate hinges on who finds him first...and whether that person is swayed by the record-setting bounties offered for Alec's head. Meanwhile, the voice of Nastra, the universe, is speaking again to Alec--as well as to his shadowy enemy, the inhuman Marquessa de la Hoff. But there can be only one Listener--and the Marquessa is willing to trigger universal war to be that One.