This anthology introduces the universe and characters of the Inquest series, which is one of the few works of fiction that truly deserves to be described as "epic." It is the saga of the fall of a galactic empire, but don't let that summarization fool you. This is no cliche. The universe of the Inquest is as rich as Dune, and more sweeping and majestic than Foundation. The Inquestors present a godlike facade to their subjects, but are tragically human and fallible behind this facade. They have Clarke's "science which is indistinguishable from magic," and can indulge their every whim, whether for beauty or evil. Worlds rise and fall as the Inquestors' egos clash. This is the story of a small band of heretical Inquestors determined to restore humanity and freedom to the human race, and the civil war that ensues as the corrupt Inquestors strive to maintain their 20,000 year old tyranny. The author has a gift for the sounds of language, and words and phrases from the stories will resound through your mind for months. The ideas and images will stay with you even longer. These books have been inexplicably out of print for years, but are treasures worth the seeking. The other books in the series are: The Light on the Sound: The Dawning Shadow, The Light on the Sound: The Throne of Madness, and Darkling Wind.