I read this book about 12-Sep-2013. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright ?. This note was last modified Monday, 30-Sep-2013 15:44:33 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Our Hero and his wife have been ombudsman and constable on an established colony (and farming) for a while, with their adopted daughter Zoe. They're approached to go be colony leaders on the new Roanoke colony (which none of the character realize is an ill-fated name until later).
Of course, the Powers That Be aren't giving them the full story. Nevertheless they accept.
Turns out the conclaved has gotten started, and is going around removing the colonies of non-members. We're not a member (and the Colonial Union hasn't told anybody about the conclave in the first place). So this is an attempt to colonize after that. And more even than that.
So, first they're sent to a different planet than they're told, and then they're told not to use any high technology (which would be detectable); luckily they have an Amish contingent and an excessive allocation of old-style tools. And then after a year they're told they can now use high tech, and they're quickly spotted—and the CU plan to destroy the conclave fleet (which consists of one battleship from each member) works perfectly.
Their political planners didn't quite realize that this would be seen as putting them at war with each species in the conclave individually.
Then they meddle in conclave politics, and save General Gau from an assasination plan. And it kind of looks, at the end, as if things might be sort-of coming together to a less genocidal state.