But what does honor mean when you’re at war and surrounded by corruption from all sides? As Sara Fairchild brings the Kades to their knees and manages to capture a prize that rivals Nissa Sardonien’s worth to imperial intelligence, she has to wonder — how far should she go to extract the secrets her Empress and her empire needs?
As she fights to outmaneuver her growing list of enemies and win a war that becomes more complicated by the day, Sara Fairchild knows that no matter what, the empire will never be the same.
Now a member of the Mercenary Guilds’ elite guard, she fights on the front lines of her empire’s first civil war. But Sara’s priority isn’t winning the war for the crown or empire. It’s finding out the true circumstances of her family’s downfall while keeping one mild-mannered scholar alive.
As emotionally detached as she is from everyone around her, Sara can’t seem to shake the stubborn affection of her one friend. When she stumbles upon the secrets of the leadership of the Empress’s highest command in the field, Sara will be forced to decide how deep her loyalty is to the crown…before they kill her off and everyone else standing in their way.
Secrets aside everyday on the warfront is a life under threat from the ultimate enemy and yet as Sara quickly finds out, darkness resides on both sides of the war lines.
Now she’s shouldering the responsibilities of being a leader, not a follower, in the imperial armed forces while trying to figure out exactly what the Empress’s Representative has planned for her. Whatever the blood of the crown wants, Sara knows that she will suffer for it.
As she launches a mission to re-capture Nissa Sardonien, Sara finds out that she’s not the only one playing a cat-and-mouse game. Apparently the Kades have been keeping a closer eye on her than even she knew, and when Sara meets Gabriel—their enigmatic leader with amethyst eyes—all bets are off.
Each of these three short stories explores a unique character arc in the history of the Algardis Universe.
The Rose Hedgewitch is a 3,900-word short story set decades before the first Courtlight book and focuses on Maggie, a gardener in the imperial palaces. Across The Arid Seas is a 5,200-word short story that looks into Algardis desert culture and the life of the nomadic tribes as narrated by Marian, a middle shaman. Lillian In Heels is a 8,700-word short story that explores the nature of Lillian, Ciardis Weathervane’s mother when she lived at court.
Together they make up a 17,000-word (75 page) novella-length compendium.