Reading this was like hitting my head with a brick, and that's not a complaint. That's just Cherryh--dense prose, claustrophobic viewpoint, blink-and-you'll-miss-it explanation of complicated political calculations. The prologue alone contains enough plot for most people's novels. I had to stop and rub my eyes a lot.
It's not the masterpiece Cyteen is. The good guys are a little too good, the bad guys are a little too bad, the aliens a little too simple (surprising, in a Cherryh novel). But it's a good, solid galactic chess match, and a depiction of a far-future that's believably broken, dirty, and human. Plus, of course, essential background for almost everything else Cherryh's written.