Lady Lucinda, secret sorceress of the Old Gods, has split the One Faith into bitter factions. With the help of the Duke of Torinia, she launches a war to overthrow the King of Valdur and bring back the old ways. Brother Acquel Galenus, now Magister of the High Temple of Livorna, knows he must stop her, but doubts his own faith and abilities. With powerful demons seeking to re-enter the world through Lucinda, he must find allies, but how?
Julianus Strykar, now a coronel of the mercenary company of the Black Rose, finds himself thrust into the maelstrom of civil war, but false pride leads him into a battle he may not be able to win. He soon faces old enemies and ghosts from his past.
Captain Nicolo Danamis may have regained his fleet, but the return of his long-lost father and lord, Valerian, has complicated his love affair with mer princess Citala. When the Queen of Valdur demands his help, he and Citala find themselves at the centre of palace intrigue. As they try to avert an 'alliance' with the Silk Empire that will turn Valdur into a puppet kingdom, Nicolo learns that the crown prince may be his bastard son.
Friendships, loves, and the future of Valdur all hang by a thread...