Someone is kidnapping the animals of beastmasters' teams. On planet after planet, telepathically gifted people are being attacked-some of them murdered-by a conspiracy to take their precious animals. Laris, an orphan who trains exotic alien creatures for an interstellar circus, knows that somehow her employer is connected to the deadly plot. She also knows that those involved will kill her if she talks.Beastmaster Hosteen Storm has heard about the plot, but when the circus comes to Arzor, he doesn't realize his mortal peril. The circus, with its many colorful acts, is danger cloaked in the swirling excitement of the show. Laris loves all animals, and is herself able to communicate with them. When she meets Hosteen and becomes friends with him and his family, she desperately wants to warn him, to save him and his animals. But as the circus nears the end of its stay on Arzor, the deadly plotters prepare to strike at those Laris cares about... and at her, if she interferes!