Ambassador of Progress by Walter Jon Williams
Approx. 123,170 words.
Published on September 16, 2012.
An interstellar catastrophe has left humanity scattered on dozens of primitive worlds. Fiona is charged with helping the inhabitants of Echidne rise from barbarism.
But soon she finds herself in the middle of a war... the Brodaini, the world’s most ferocious warriors, have risen in revolt against their overlords. Fiona is a neutral. But Echidne is proving a perilous place for neutrals...