Kheda finds himself committed ever more deeply to his role as warlord of the Chazen domain, now married to the dead lord’s widow to protect her from those who’d seize the islands through her. He is determined to do his best for his new people, burdened though he is by secrets and doubts. The events of the past two years have tested his trust in omens and portent to breaking point but he cannot anyone suspect that. Friends and foes are still watching him closely, none more so than his former wives and his oldest son, now ruling in his own right as Daish Sirket. The only person he can trust without reservation is Risala, and his love for her must be hidden, if she is to remain his eyes and ears throughout the southern domains.
Other questions to torment Kheda. Where did those wild men and later, the dragon that was the source of their savage wizards’ power, come from? Just what lies far out in the supposedly empty western ocean? Velindre, magewoman of Hadrumal, returns to tell Kheda she knows some of these answers. She wants Kheda to sail westwards with her and her fellow mage Naldeth, to learn the nature and extent of any remaining threat to both Archipelagans and the northern wizards.
To free himself to go with her, Kheda must twist the truth once again to deceive enemies and loved ones alike. Before he goes, he warns Sirket he may not be able to return. Once the four of them have made landfall, he begins to fear they may not even survive to make the attempt.
Try the opening chapter !