This prose novella is a prequel to the Saga of Seven Suns novels.
Eleven exploratory ships carrying people who don’t want their descendants to have to live on what they see Earth becoming have now been discovered by another, more advanced, space-faring civilization, the Ildiran Empire. The empire helps the refugees — by now the several-generations-later offspring of the original voyagers — settle in suitable situations and sends diplomats with a few of them to Earth to establish commerce and other connections. Meanwhile, both Earth and Ildiran authorities bring hidden agendas to their first-contact discussions.
The book stands out for its superlative art by Robert Teranishi, whose rendering of characters, machines and alien planets is stunning. Bonus material includes the complete script for the Veiled Alliances graphic novel.