This is one sprawling space opera.
Multiple space civilisations on the other side of some long dead Terran star-gate. Dozens of characters, masses of politics, pirates, commerce and war. Frickin space battles the like of which haven't been seen since the days of E.E. "Doc" Smith.
Makes Babylon 5 look simple.
I read it in just a few sittings despite it's 520 page length and I have to admit I kept getting lost. I had to keep going back and re-reading sections to try to figure out who the frick this new character was and why they seemed to be so important. I kept seeing details and had many "Who where with the what now?" moments because it seemed that this little paragraph I was currently reading was dripping with meaning and I just couldn't figure out why I wasn't seeing it. Gallenteen? Are they the "Federation?" Oh. I remember reading them referred together about 50 pages ago.
Wait. What? Vitoc? Oh yes. That's the slave drug. I vaguely remember reading about that a 100 pages ago.
It was only on the exact last page I figured out why I was getting lost in the supremely massive wealth of detail that seemed irrelevant and why so many terms were used as if you were supposed to just 'know' what was being spoken about.
I should have realised, but I'm a bit dim sometimes. Or maybe it's because of recent events that had shattered my concentration.
Doh! It's a book set in the MMORPG. I've never played it. Never seen it. Never so much as looked it up on wikipedia.
Despite that, it's a darn good story and if you love politics, massive space battles, space pirates and chicanery, have played the game and want ideas, then go out and read it.