Two institutions once held Astoran’s Adepts in check: the now-defunct throne and the cloister of the Seventh Sisters. Upheaval threatens to engulf the realm and topple its last remaining bastion as Eraly races to gather allies before confronting cloister leadership about their role in the massacre. But even as she acknowledges that they must be held to account, she fears that her actions will tear the Seventh Sisters apart, destroying the very institution she’s desperate to preserve.
Meanwhile, the Guardians of the Flame are amassing to strike against the conspirators, and as eager as he is to see justice done, Nevin cannot escape his dread at the prospect of Vonessa exposing her secret. She worries about the potential for violence too, but she’s far more afraid of what will follow in the reckoning’s wake. Can she become the leader Astoran needs?
Every other Guardian has a personal agenda to grapple with as well: Aderyn will at last face her brother’s murderer, Xaran will confront his House’s betrayal of the realm, Cianne will help capture her traitorous father, Kila will discover the fates of his fellow Enforcers, and Amir will take part in the upcoming battle to crush the nobility’s hold over the capital.
Yet they all grapple with the same essential question: what will the consequences of their actions be? Will the Astoran that rises from the ashes be better than the sundered realm the conspiracy created?