V předvečer začátku první světové války je Fleurette, dcera majitele význačného parfumérského domu, starším bratrem přinucena provdat se za muže, kterého nenávidí. Ale protože Aimery de Lasset vlastní manufakturu na výrobu parfémů, v zájmu zachování obou dynastií Fleurette souhlasí. Manželství však zůstane nenaplněno, protože je vyhlášena válka a Aimery nastupuje do francouzské armády bojovat proti Němcům.Fleurette začíná nový život a nezbývá jí, než sama se poprat s povinnostmi, s nimiž nemá žádné zkušenosti. Daří se jí to, ale jen do chvíle, než dostane dopis od manželova bratra Sebastiena. Když se Sebastian objeví v jejím domě, Fleurettin život se obrátí vzhůru nohama. Tajemství, které jí odhalí, totiž může zničit obě rodiny!
With dread war looming in the north, Wyl must obey the treacherous dictates of Celimus and embark on a suicidal journey to the court of an ancient enemy -- armed with a strange and awesome secret that could prove both boon and curse. For unless he accepts Myrren's gift, it will surely destroy him . . . and the land he must defend as well.
Clinging to an ominous suggestion from his young friend Fynch, an increasingly powerful mage, Wyl must walk his most dangerous path yet -- straight into the brutal clutches of Celimus in a desperate attempt to save his nation, his love, and himself.
Wyl Thirsk, loyal soldier of Morgravia, has seen his best friend slain, his sister tortured, and his mentor sent to certain death, all at the hands of his sovereign, the cruel and manipulative King Celimus. Now Celimus, believing himself to be rid of the "moral constraints" of the Thirsk influence, has turned his greedy eye to expansion ... and Morgravia's neighboring kingdom, ruled by the spirited but inexperienced Queen Valentyna. As Celimus pressures Valentyna into a doomed political marriage, Wyl endeavors desperately to preserve both the honor of his country and the freedom of the woman he loves.
But fate has other plans for him. Despite his friends and loved ones becoming increasingly tangled in the evil machinations of King Celimus, though war with the dread Northern Kingdom appears imminent and Valentyna is poised to succumb to Morgravia's oily rule, Wyl must leave behind all he knows and cares about and travel into the land from which none return, seeking out the bestower of Myrren's sinister gift.
As Herezah privately grieves for Lazar, she hatches an audacious plot to destroy the odalisque Ana, who flouts the rules of the harem but has found a measure of protection in having caught the eye of Zar Boaz. And Ana shoulders a tremendous burden of guilt as she matures from a beautiful girl into a stunning young woman . . . and fears what her future in the harem might hold.
Yet Lazar, unbeknownst to nearly everyone in the palace, is slowly recovering on a secret island. As he struggles to return to health, war from a distant realm threatens Percheron, and, as the cyclical battle of the gods continues to build, the first of the Goddess's disciples falls into the grip of the demon Maliz. Success or failure—for both Percheron and Lyana—hinges on Lazar, whose illness has left him with a new gift he fears is a curse, and if he cannot take action soon, all may well be lost.