Tielmark's free prince sits imperiled by the relentless conspiracies of the neighboring Bissanty Empire. Sorceress Gaultry Blas, blessed by Tielmaran's goddess-twins, returns to her homeland yearning for peace, but instead discovers a conspiracy of evil magics. The coven of witches sworn to defend the prince's crown have gathered to attend the dying Duchess of Melaudiere, who protects their throne's unborn heir. They also have an unpleasant truth: In years past, the witches failed their oath to Tielmark. If they fail again, their lives and those of their descendants will be lost.
Forest-born Gaultry, tuned more to action than politics, navigates tricky court intrigue and is determined to work with the Common Brood witches to break the ancient Bissanty claims.
But Gaultry is stalked by a hidden Tielmaran-born enemy who is bent on shattering Bissanty chains at any cost. This enemy has waited fifty years for the alignment of the stars that will allow Tielmark's prince ascent to a kingly throne. She will not let Gaultry get in her way-for this enemy has been planning from before Gaultry's birth how to stop her.
From the intricate infighting of Tielmark's court to the barren sun-bleached battlegrounds at Tielmark's farthest border, Gaultry must call on her magic, courage, and spirit to overcome the obstacles to her realm's rightful kingship.
When the great treachery is finally exposed in a brutal endgame played out under Tielmark's towering border mountains, Gaultry and members of the Common Brood will call upon their deepest powers to crown a king-or kill the hopes of their kingless realm.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.