Meanwhile, someone plots a brutal retaliation. . . .
Not long ago, Alyea Peysimun was a shallow young noblewoman maneuvering for personal power. Her first attempt at politics proved far more dangerous than she dreamed possible, and nearly ended her life. Now she is a desert lord, one of the powerful, little-understood southern elite. But power changes everything--including who to call friend and enemy.
Deiq of Stass has long hidden his dual heritage by passing himself off as a mysterious quasi-noble. He has a facility for lying and a strange sense of ethics; but he'll honor his promise to guide Alyea into her new life. To uphold that commitment, he must navigate more obstacles than even he could imagine--not least those within himself.
Eredion Sessin is the only desert lord who stayed in Bright Bay during King Ninnic's reign. He endured the worst of the insane king's excesses and helped to remove Ninnic from the throne; his guilt over the people he couldn't save is almost as deep as his self-loathing. He has come to hate all the ha'reye represent. And yet something deeper than loyalty binds him to Deiq, who he knows better than to trust.
As the truth of the ancient, mysterious ha'reye begins to emerge and those who oppose their ways marshal new strategies, the repercussions of Scratha's desperate gambit threaten to destroy a precarious balance that has held since the Split. And this time, there's no turning back.