There was more to the brooding forest world of Mithras than the great Hive rising from its clearing, and somewhere there was an intellect more ruthlessly domineering than even the Lady Amalthea's. Shah could feel it but not find it, at least not in time, and Paul with a war to prosecute, had other matters on his mind. Deceit and treachery hung about the city like a shroud. Who were the Hive people? Who were the Drones, and where did they go through the high hedge that Amalthea's warriors dared not follow? When the answer started to come and Shah understood where the real authority on Mithras lay, it spelt danger for the Lady and for her Hive, but mostly for Paul, trapped between the monstrous ambitions of mad, magnificent Amalthea and the sheer power and implacable hatred of the silent enemy that had grown weary of waiting.