Commander Hawk of the Tamnese army was captured by the Strid after being left for dead on the battlefield. After years as a prisoner of war, he is finally ransomed–only to find he has no place left in the world. His parents are dead and his command has long since been given to another. At loose ends, he agrees to an undertaking for the crown–seek out the truth about Princess Azmei’s killer.
Yarro Perslyn has been captive to the Voices in his head for most of his short life. The only family who ever cared for him was his sister Orya, and she disappeared. Now the mysterious Voices in his head are saying something new. They are real, and they want Yarro to free them.
Princess, prisoner, and prophet collide in the embattled region between the two kingdoms. But will they be in time to prevent more death, or will the rising storm break them all?
Azmei knows she is sailing into a precarious situation. After all, the correspondence she’s traded with Vistaren doesn’t guarantee he’ll be a man she can respect or love. She can’t stand the thought of seeing her generation decimated by the bloody conflict with neighboring Strid. Yet while she has sworn to serve her brother, the heir to Tamnen’s throne, Azmei isn’t certain this is the best way to do so.
What Azmei doesn’t know is that her new friend, Orya, is not who she seems to be, and that Prince Vistaren has secrets of his own. And on top of that, there are those who will stop at nothing to prevent the alliance between Tamnen and Amethir… There is a storm on the horizon, and its shadow may grow to cover the whole world.
Along with nobles and commoners, Fletcher endures grueling lessons that will prepare him to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire's war against the savage Orcs. But sinister forces infect new friendships and rivalries grow. With no one but Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of the Empire is in his hands.