Deserter is the second book in the Kris Longknife Series. It recounts Kris Longknife's experiences as a Lieutenant junior grade in the United Sentients Navy. She is lured to the planet Turantic by the abduction of Tommy Lien by Calvin Sandfire and obstructs an effort by Henry Smythe-Peterwald XII to start a war using Turantic as a proxy. Nelly begins analyzing a piece of rock recovered from Santa Maria by Kris's Aunt Alnaba; Kris begins having strange dreams.
Tommy learns that one of Calvin Sandfire's goals is to put Kris in chains and deliver her naked to Henry Smythe-Peterwald XII; Kris destroys Sandfire's ship and kills him.
At the end of the book, Kris is promoted to lieutenant and assigned to the development of fast patrol boats.