Taerith Romany, banished from his home by a cruel guardian, is a gentle warrior with a poet’s soul. When he rescues a beautiful young woman from bandits on his way to the castle of a spoiled tyrant named Annar, he finds himself deep in conflict: the young woman, Lilia, is the future queen—and though he cannot love her, neither he can bring himself to abandon her to life as Annar’s bride without a friend.
Vowing to help Lilia in any way he can, Taerith takes up his role as a soldier and servant in the king’s household. Their destinies quickly become intertwined with that of Mirian, a slave girl with a mysterious past and a fierce pride that cannot be quenched. As Mirian and Lilia form an unlikely friendship, Taerith discovers more about the threats overshadowing them all: Annar’s rule is only a knife’s edge from slipping, and Taerith must fight alongside the king’s brother to combat starvation, invasion, and a death cult that wants Lilia’s life.
In a land of fog and fens, unicorns and wild men, Taerith stands at the crossroads of good and evil—where men are vanquished by their own obsessions or saved by faith in the higher things of loyalty and love.
Rachel Starr Thomson is also the author of The Seventh World Trilogy (Worlds Unseen, Burning Light, and Coming Day) and other novels and short stories.