Carson and Duare have escaped the city of Havatoo in an anotar(airplane literally bird ship in Amtorian). They can’t return to Duare’s home of Vepaja due to her violating the ancient laws by choosing her own mate. Thus the two go in search of a new home on Amtor.
There wandering take them to the land of Korva. Korva has suffered a humiliating defeat in a war and suffered harsh punitive terms. The government has fallen to a fascist movement called the Zani and the last free city of Sanara is under siege. Carson befriends an agency from Sanara on a mission behind enemy lines and takes him to Sanara. Tamen is in line to be jong and the current jong Muso was threatened by Taman’s popularity and sent him on a mission to fail.
Carson volunteers his services and his anotar begins a bombing campaign on the besieging Zani. Muso has developed an obsession with Duare and sends Carson on a spy mission to Amlot the capital. Once there he is befriended by a woman who gets him a position in the Zani guard. What follows is political intrigue and a plan to foment a counter revolution.
Carson succeeds in overthrowing the Zani and exposing the traitor Muso. For his service he is adopted by Taman and becomes the prince of Korva. Unfortunately Duare thought him dead and has left for Vepaja with her father. Carson sets out to rescue her.
The third book of the Venus series is another excellent series. It focuses on war and cloak and dagger intrigue instead of exploring and fantastical monsters as the previous books did. The story has a satirical take on Nazis and Fascists. The Zani are clearly based on Hitler and the Nazi. They are described as thugs and have an extensive secret police to spy on every citizen. Everyone has to go around and greet each other with “Maltu Memphis”. When the leader Memphis passes in the street all males must stand on their head and shout “Maltu Memphis”. Everybody is also required to at least once a month attend a play on the leader’s life. This is the only theater allowed. The story definitely shows the narcissistic elements of Hitler and Mussolini.