Blasters flare, evil aliens maraud and salvation comes to the deserving in this third volume (after Beyond the Gate) of Farland’s popular The Golden Queen space opera series. In an earlier installment, Maggie Flynn became the Golden Queen of the Sixth Swarm of the insect-like Dronon invaders of human worlds when her husband, the Lord Protector Gallen, defeated the old queen's champion in single combat, thereby saving humanity from complete domination. Now Maggie and Gallen have fled the galaxy, seeking a distant planet where they can wait out Maggie's pregnancy and evade the other Dronon Swarms. Unfortunately, Ruin, the planet they choose, is owned by the mad Lord Felph, who enlists the pair in a dangerous plan to conquer Ruin's horrific jungles and to find a mysterious and powerful artifact. The situation is complicated by Felph's inhuman, occasionally murderous children, and by the eventual appearance of the Dronon. As always, Farland tells an enjoyably story.