A humanitarian mission into unfriendly stars. A training cruise under the watch of a fortified fleet base. The closing jaws of a trap years in the making.
It has been over a year since the UnArcana Worlds of the Protectorate of the Mage-King of Mars seceded, shattering the unity of the human race. The new Republic of Faith and Reason has raised new banners in defiance of the power of the Protectorate's Mage aristocracy.
Now, Hand Damien Montgomery commands a relief mission to a Republic world ravaged by famine. His humanitarian mission collides with a newborn military beginning to flex its muscles - and a newborn nation prepared to accept no violations of its sovereignty, regardless of their needs.
Elsewhere, disaster strikes the Nia Kriti Fleet Base as an earthquake shatters their only communication with the rest of the Protectorate. Officer-in-training Roslyn Chambers is in the middle of the recovery effort when she realizes Nia Kriti is under attack.
The Republic is done with peace. They are coming for the Protectorate - and they will see the fleets of Mars break!