After the fall of Earth, the surviving humans colonized other worlds and formed the Hyperion Empire. At the Empire’s center: the planet Lintalla. The rest is comprised of human clans and alien civilizations. Although the Empire has enjoyed peace for many years, the threat of war with the bear-like Tarin ‘Tal and other enemy tribes is never far away.
During a routine diplomatic visit, a courtship between the Empire and potential new members, something seems amiss. In the midst of all the state dinners, planetary tours, and exhibition tournaments, James Ursidae - son of the legendary warrior and founder of the Emperor’s elite guard known as he Hammer - senses that tensions between some of the Imperial factions are approaching a boiling point.
An assassination attempt on James and his companions, including the Emperor’s daughter, confirms his worst fears. As the Empire hovers on the brink of war, James assumes his birthright and ascends to the post his father once occupied, leading the Hammer Warriors into battle, but he is only beginning to discover the depth of the conspiracy and the destruction it will wreak, threatening to destroy his mother, his friends, the woman he loves, and the very foundations of the Empire.