DeFreveille, the Conqueror, is conquered. His children have the home he sought and war goes on. His friend and ally, Christophe Maides, has learned the truth of his parents' love for one another. Both men have found homes and women to love. Their children have their own battles to fight as they make their futures among friends, strangers and their fathers' enemies.
Susanna, daughter of Alun Cwmdu, the pendefig (nobleman) killed by the invaders, and adopted daughter of Christophe Maides—one of the invading army who came to conqueror and stayed to defend—has always been aware of her value to the men who govern her life.
Though plain and disinclined to the skills of the household, her value—even to Heilyn, her younger brother, who became pendefig once Maides had defeated the boy's enemies—is indisputable among the men who seek an alliance with her mother's second husband. Only a man who loves her and able to protect her is worthy of her in Christophe's estimation. Is Cynon Machlud, beleaguered pendefig from the north, that man?
“Always before she had seen him weakened, vulnerable, dependent on her ability to heal. She had never seen him like this—upright and vigorous. Always before he had been on his back, wounded, exhausted by battle and pain, barely able to raise a finger to defend himself from her ministrations. Here, on his feet, standing beside Christophe Maides, was a man larger than she had imagined, stronger and virile.”