All roads lead to war.
Nonbinary Ruarnon is determined to prove their worth as heir to Tarlah's perfect King. Things get complicated when their parents are abducted and they're left ruling Tarlah in the shadow of impending war, with absent allies.
Neighbouring King Kyura has no intention of invading Tarlah. But his warmongering subjects long for the glory of expansion. When Kyura rejects their calls for war, assassins threaten his family and mutiny threatens his reign.
Stranded Aussie Linh is desperate to return to her family in Australia. But the only transport to her gateway home is Ruarnon's absent allies, sailing to Tarlah's aid.
Monsters at sea threaten everyone. Linh's monster observations could save Kyura's people, and clear her homeward path. If she risks her life aiding Ruarnon. But to secure peace with Kyura's unruly subjects, Ruarnon's ultimate test as heir risks betrayal and Tarlah's bloody defeat.