McCaffrey continues to develop her brainship concept, with a new collaborator this time, the one who worked with her on The Death of Sleep (1990). The brainship Carialle and her brawn, Keff, find a habitable planet inhabited by an apparent mix of races and cultures and dominated by an elite of apparent magicians. Appearances are deceiving, however, and by the time the explorers have discovered the planet's secrets--not to mention other intelligent races--they find themselves in a desperate battle to save it. Knowing McCaffrey's background in space adventure and Nye's in humorous fantasy, you can tell whose influence is uppermost in certain passages, but ultimately the two blend their skills effectively to produce a brisk, well-told, often amusing tale that does not strive to do more than entertain but does so admirably. Fans of either author, or both, will have fun with this book.