The Enterprise embarks on a mission to negotiate use of star charts of an area of space riddled with gravitational anomalies, which are held by some rather 'prickly' types who wish for the Enterprise and her senior officers to have the "honor" of taking the son of the planet's ruler on a coming-of-age cerimonial hunt to harvest a trophy in a protected wild land.
These star charts are essential to speed up evacuation of a planet who's sun is going nova, and every minute which passes means more lives lost.
The mission on the planet Fandre soon becomes a desperate fight to survive when the shuttle crashes due to technical failure. The fact that the Legacy preserve is protected by technology dampning fields, as well as force fields which can only have openings at short intervals means that getting any outside help is nearly impossible.
Meanwhile, diplomatic negotiations for access to the star charts are continued, and discontinued amid social face-saving practices of these people. Finally, Picard sees no choice but to change his diplomatic tactics to speed the process of getting the star charts.
There were some minor technical problems I had with the book but which didn't impeed enjoyment of the story too much. It's an enjoyable book about coming of age, and seeing the world around you for what it is, as well as a survavialist adventure.