This book continues the story of the human race on fare distant Helliconia. It does not pick up immediately after the first book, but rather hundreds of years in to the future. Everything is still being observed by the people of the Avernus satellite and beamed back to Earth. In the story the summer of the Great Year (1829 normal years) is approaching. Many tropical areas have become almost unlivable. The Phagors (ancient enemies of mankind) are in a docile period preparing for the Winter. The story includes political intrigue, murder, divorce, etc.
All in all a good story with good characters. I will be reading the last book in the trilogy.