The world on the other side of the rift: Kelewan, a land seething with political intrigue and deadly conspiracies. Following the opulent panoply of Daughter Of The Empire and the dazzling pageantry of Servant Of The Empire comes the resounding conclusion to the Empire trilogy.
Besieged by spies and rival houses, stalked by a secret and merciless brotherhood of assassins, the brilliant Lady Mara of the Acoma faces the most deadly challenge she has ever known. The fearsome Black Robes see Mara as the ultimate threat to their ancient power. In search of allies who will join her against them, Mara must travel beyond civilization's borders and even into the hives of the alien cho-ja. As those near and dear to her fall victim to many enemies, Mara cries out for vengeance. Drawing on all of her courage and guile she prepares to fight her greatest battle of all--for her life, her home, and the Empire itself.
The trilogy begun with Daughter of the Empire is here brought to a strong conclusion. Lady Mara of the Acoma clan, named Servant of the Empire by Ichindar, Emperor of the Tsuranuanni, whom she has raised from figurehead to true ruler, feels safe from her enemies for the first time in her life--until an assassination attempt aimed at her kills her young son and heir instead. Convinced her old foe, Jiro of the House Anasati, is behind the deed, she plans war. But her desires are thwarted by the reactionary Assembly of Magicians, who are, Mara begins to understand, the true power in the Empire, having kept the people docile for a millennium. In her fight to bring down her enemies and ensure peace for the Empire, Mara must employ the nonhuman cho-ja and an ancient secret. The characters' efforts to work out their destinies within the constraints of a tradition-bound culture is depicted with skill.