Third volume of the Durdane trilogy. After the previous two, and especially "The Brave Free Men" I found this a bit of a disappoint. Basically it seems like a competent standalone, not very connected to the preceding volumes. That's a bit of a shame given the potential for pulling foreward the character work and political development, instead we're left with a basically stock Vancian character doing stock Vancian things--investigating an alien threat, bluffing his way across borders, getting captured, rescuing himself, triggering major alien social collapse. The details all work fairly well but the larger picture ends up being a bit lacking. I think I prefer Jack Vance when he's a little outside of his comfort zone.
Better than: Planet of Adventure by Jack Vance
Worse than: The Brave Free Men by Jack Vance