When tech scavenger Xích Si is captured and imprisoned by the infamous pirates of the Red Banner, she expects to be tortured or killed. Instead, their leader, Rice Fish, makes Xích Si an utterly incredible proposition: an offer of marriage.
Both have their reasons for this arrangement: Xích Si needs protection; Rice Fish, a sentient spaceship, needs a technical expert to investigate the death of her first wife, the Red Scholar. That’s all there is to it.
But as the interstellar war against piracy rages on and their own investigation reaches a dire conclusion, the two of them discover that their arrangement has evolved into something much less business-focused and more personal…and tender. And maybe the best thing that’s ever happened to either of them—but only if they can find a way to survive together.
A rich space opera and an intensely soft romance from an exceptional SF author.