In a landlocked galaxy that tunnels through our own, the Entire is a bizarre and seductive mix of long-lied quasi-human and alien beings gathered under a sky of fire, called the "bright". A land of wonders, the Entire is sustained by monumental storm walls and an exotic, never-ending river. Over all, the elegant and cruel Tarig rule supreme. Into this rich milieu is thrust Titus Quinn, former star pilot.
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Former star pilot Titus Quinn loves The Entire, but now he must risk annihilating it by destroying the fortress of Ahnenhoon. To sustain a faltering Entire, Ahnenhoon's great engine will soon reach through the brane separating the universes and consume our own universe in a concentrated ball of fire.
On this stage unfolds a mighty struggle for dominance between two universes. Titus Quinn has forged an unstable peace with the Tarig lords. The ruinous capability of the nanotech surge weapon he possesses ensures detente. But it is a sham. In what the godwoman Zhiya calls a fit of moral goodness, he's thrown the weapon into the space-folding waters of the Nigh. This clears the way for an enemy he could have never foreseen: the people of the Rose.
Finally in control of the Ascendancy, Titus Quinn has styled himself Regent of the Entire. But his command is fragile. He rules an empire with a technology beyond human understanding; spies lurk in the ancient Magisterium; the Tarig overlords are hamstrung but still malevolent. Worse, his daughter Sen Ni opposes him for control, believing the Earth and its Rose universe must die to sustain the failing Entire.