Two novels and four novellas collected for the first time in volume five of multiple Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning Poul Anderson’s Technic Civilization science fiction adventure epic. In the twilight of the Terran Empire, one secret agent stands ready with the grit and wits to save a corrupt empire by hook or by crook.
In the twilight of the Terran Empire, one man exists who can save his empire—and civilization itself—by hook or by crook, whether his “betters” appreciate his efforts or not. Flandry is both agent of empire, and agent-provocateur of change. For even as he fights for the old guard, Flandry remains well aware that change is afoot and that he has the ability to influence the direction of galactic civilization for eons to come.
Flandry is a heroic but tragic figure: a man who knows too much history, who knows that battle and scheme as he will the Long Night of Empire is approaching. If that darkness is not to fall in his own lifetime, must do what he can. And anyone, human or alien, who gets in his way, will most definitely regret it.
The fifth entry in the seven-volume complete cycle of The Technic Civilization Saga includes the novels The Day of Their Return and A Message in Secret, plus four novellas.
About Poul Anderson: "One of science fiction's authentic geniuses." -- Chicago Sun-Times
“Anderson fuses elegiac prose and a sweeping vision of man’s technological future…” – Booklist “One of science fiction’s giants.” – Arthur C. Clarke