1993’s The Phoenix in Flight is the first volume in Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge’s Exordium pentology. There is a new edition of this volume, but this review is of the 1993 edition, because that is the edition I happen to have on hand.
Eusabian, Lord of Vengeance, avatar of Dol, grumpiest Dol’jharian of all, has long yearned to punish the Panarchy for defeating Dol’jhar some decades ago. The main problem facing Eusabian is that the Panarchy draws on the resources of the many races and worlds of the Thousand Stars1; Dol’jhar draws on the resources of … Dol’jhar, a cold, bleak, poor planet.
But now Eusabian has learned how to exploit the still-functioning relics of the long-vanished Ur. With the Ur’s instant communications and their stupendous power sources in his possession, the balance of power has tilted decisively in Eusabian’s favour. The time has come for his vendetta, his ritual paliach. Which in its purest form ends with the display of the severed head of the enemy.