Tired of sitting back while their borders are being attacked regardless of peace treaties signed, Amalt Paya decides to take it upon herself to investigate anyway, in spite of the punishment she knows she'll face for defying direct orders not to. Her people are dying. What she and her fellow Ree warriors soon discover is worse than she thought. Entire towns are being razed to the ground. But how? And by who? Their enemy is not who they once thought.
Ivan Mandrake, a lieutenant colonel in the United Planetary Forces, is tracking a race called the Ya that is destroying planets. Following the Ya to a planet the UPF isn't allowed to touch, he and his group come across a legion of winged warrior females. Their orders are to not make contact with the indigenous species of the planet, but the Ya are attacking, which means he and his men don't have a choice.
The Ree know nothing of the technology the Terrans have, but Paya trusts them to help. Unfortunately, the Ree leaders don't share that trust for the Terrans or Paya. She's labeled a traitor, stripped of her title, then sent to the breeding stocks as punishment for the rest of her days. But she's not done fighting, they won't break her, and Ivan won't stop fighting for her.
Regardless of the way her people have wronged her, Paya is still determined to save them from the Ya. With Ivan by her side, her feelings for him grow, and she knows Ivan cares for her, but she's unworthy now of his love. She's tainted after what her kind did to her. He'll have to work to convince her otherwise.
In the meantime, their mission is to save her planet. Together.