Caliandra, teenage Princess of Barra, is in dire straits: her father, King Rionn, is dying; her fiancée left her to marry a richer woman; and her brother Valric's gone missing, while looking for a cure for their father's illness. Her very title hinges on Valric's success – since their father, King was picked to rule by Peacebringer, a magic axe, and when he dies, Valric and Caliandra lose everything.
But the Royal Seer, Royth, sent the Prince on a fool's errand into dangerous territory, and for good reason. Valric was to be the next king - and according to Royth's visions, Valric would destroy their kingdom… while Caliandra would rebuild it.
When Valric turns up dead, King Rionn succumbs to disease, and Peacebringer goes missing, Caliandra and her mother, the Queen, must out-wit Marrol, the King’s Minister of War, in a high-stakes game of political ambition against a rival willing to do anything to keep the throne. What will Caliandra and her allies do to get her back in power – and what price will Caliandra pay to wear the crown?