The trader Solar Queen and its new sister ship, North Star, have embarked on a mission to a planet rich in lucrative ore.
Armed with their experience on the galactic rim, Dane Thorson and his crew descend to the surface to discover a bizarre set of dangers. A strange electromagnetic force is threatening to kill visitors to the planet-and causing new powers to develop among members of the crew.
Thorson and the embattled crew face not only dangerous weather and lethal native lifeforms. There are also space pirates in the system. They must use all of their old traders' ingenuity, and their new powers, to untangle the mystery of Hesprid IV's deadly lifeforms, embarking on a desperate gamble to communicate with the planet's creatures-their last chance to survive.