Circe is one of the sentient planets in the system; she can think, and the humans who live with her are slightly different from the humans on other planets. However, they keep themselves to themselves and do not make contact with non-thinking planets. But now Circe is reaching out to First Home, the technological giant, the strongest world of the solar system, because she has sensed a great danger approaching from far off in the galaxy, and she is making plans to deal with it.
Tethyn must escort the envoy and his entourage on an expedition to her hidden family home where he will encounter the planet herself, see some of her powers and learn about her past. The envoy is deeply affected by the experience. During the excursion Tethyn admits to herself that she has come to love Lewis although in return she cannot hope for anything other than his desire. But desire is not enough, and when Lewis wants to take Tethyn to First Home, she refuses him.
Then personal danger for Lewis arrives. An enemy has followed him from First Home, and lives begin to alter.