Isaac Asimov was an incredibly prolific author. Over the years, he has written a massive number of book, but he is not only a science fiction write. For many years in between, he was also involved in writing a large number of non-fiction books, and this period saw him write very few science fiction, being more involved in writing these books. However, he is more known for his science fiction writing, and more specifically for the Foundation Series as well as the Laws of Robotics that were present through his books. Even though we do not have the kind of robots that he introduced in his books, the same ethical debates about the capabilities of robots that we produce is based on the discussion of the 3 Laws of Robotics.
One of the problems of his different stages of writing these books was that he would try to stitch the same thread and history in the books he had. However, stitching this book into his future chronology was always going to be difficult. For those familiar with the Foundation, this book was about a time period before the establishment of the Galactic empire founded on Trantor, and Earth is known (which it is not known any more during the Galactic empire).
Actually, the plot of the novel can make the head spin a bit. It is about conspiracies, and quests to escape the tyranny of a particular set of people, called, wait for it, the Tyranni (because they come from the planet Tyrann). They control a set of 50 planets, located near the Horsehead Nebula, and one way to ensure that these plants remain in their control is by limiting the amount of knowledge of science and space travel in this area.
The hero of the novel is Biron Farrill, who is studying at University, and whose father, a powerful leader, called the Lord Rancher of Widemos, was executed by the Tyranni, and how his own life would be in danger, and in fact, there apparently is an attempt on his life. He is advised to travel to one of the captured planet called Rhodia, and after that, his life is a series of dueling and escaping from the Tyranni and their agents. A lot of their quest is for a rebellion world, where there is the seeds of a rebellion against the Tyranni and which they must find, while they are being chased so that the rebellious world can be found and the rebellion stopped. And so on, but the end of the novel is disappointing.