Victory for the Shadari rebels has come at a terrible price. Hardship, superstition and a murderous cabal poison King Daryan's young regime, but help is nowhere to be found: the mercenary who led their rebellion has vanished, their Nomas allies have troubles of their own, and the Norlanders who returned home to plead - or fight - for the Shadari's independence have found themselves embroiled in the court politics of an empire about to implode.
As the foundations of the two far-flung countries begin to crack, an enigmatic figure watches from a tower room in Ravindal Castle. She is old, and a prisoner, but her reach is long, and her patience is about to be rewarded...
Manieiri's capable sequel to 2013's Blood's Pride, in which the people of Shadar free themselves from the evil Dead Ones, examines the cost of that victory. The Shadari king, Daryan, is all too aware that their continued liberty is far from assured. He attempts to seek the guidance of the Shadari priests, and is stunned to learn that someone has been murdering them. Resolution of that mystery is but one of the multiple intricate plot elements in this carefully crafted novel, which will draw in new and returning readers alike. The suspense, character development, and worldbuilding are all superior, and the ominous tone of the opening is sustained throughout, nicely setting the stage for the trilogy's conclusion.