This is the third and final book in the Trade Pact trilogy. Pretty much every character from the previous books returns.
The book starts a few months after the end of the previous book. Sira and Jason are enjoying their much-deserved time together but it’s not without trouble; specifically money trouble. Except for Huido, none of Jason’s previous clients want to deal with him anymore.
But that seems to be the least of the Morgans’ troubles when Sector Chief Bowman calls. One of her underlings has been mind wiped and she suspects that the Clan is behind it. Since Sira is the Speaker of the Clan Council, Bowman holds Sire responsible. The mind wiped woman had been wearing one of the devices which were supposed to make her immune to the Clan’s telepathy, so Bowman is doubly concerned. Also, space ships have been seen leaving from Acranam, one of the Clan’s most vexing outposts. Sira promises to investigate.
Jason was able to help the mind wiped constable and finds out that his old mentor and current nemesis, Symon, did it. Symon has also been telling rumors that Jason is a telepath and that’s why the clients have disappeared. Jason decides that this is his own problem and he will capture Symon by himself. Once again, the lovers go their separate ways. Unfortunately, Sira runs into Symon who kidnaps her.
Meanwhile, Jason’s alien blood brother Huido is a few problems of his own. One of his male relatives has come to visit and Huido is determined to keep him away from his wives. He has also agreed to shelter a young Clan girl Ruti. She works in Huido’s restaurant. When Huido’s main chef leaves abruptly, Ruti gets an abrupt promotion.
To Trade the Stars is mostly a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. We get to see through Sira’s memories what her life was like before she met Jason. The secrets of the alien Drapsk and the telepathic space M’hiray are finally revealed. Many of the characters get a satisfying “end”. However, there are some plot threads which are left dangling from the previous books such as the human telepaths.
The characters are complex and interesting. The worlds are similarly well done and the cultures are alien enough from each other. The Rugherans, which were quickly introduced in the previous book, are left nicely mysterious.
All in all, very good space opera!