The world is divided into Sime and Gen, and one feeds off the other...
A horrible mutation has turned the human race against itself. The feared tentacles of the Sime blind their Gen victims in a parody of romantic embrace, strip them of their energy, and discard the lifeless husk.
When Aisha is kidnapped by Simes, the Gens don't know why. Agent Hugh Valleroy loves Aisha and wants to save her, but he fears the Simes more. The supreme test of courage comes when Hugh accepts the help of a renegade Sime, ruler of the infamous House of Zeor. Now if Hugh can only live long enough to discover the truth...
They were caged like animals—would they die like men?
"Hugh, come here!" The Sime's grating whisper sliced through the bars of the cage. "Is this Aisha?"
Hugh drew himself to his feet and looked through the bars. In the adjacent cage, with Klyd, was a woman. He could make out the unmistakable features of the missing Aisha, but she lay as if unconscious.
"She's dead!" he blurted.
"No," said Klyd," she lives, but seems to be drugged. When she wakes, she'll fear me—and the Raiders will gather to watch the spectacle of the kill. I won't be able to control myself and keep myself from attacking her if that happens."
Hugh opened his mouth to protest—when Aisha's piercing scream rent the air.
"Similar to early Heinlein and van Vogt's classic, SLAN. But even this comparison does not do the book justice—It stands on its own!" —The New York Times
"An intriguing concept of a predatory culture trying for civilized accommodation with its prey." —C.J. Cherryh author of The Faded Sun series
"Admirers of the early Heinlein will appreciate this book." —Kirkus Reviews
"A winning story for science-fiction fans." —ALA Booklist