“In eight generations nothing like this has been received by any Harkeran ruler. And yet now it is you, a widow, someone who has no blood-claim to the crown in your own right, who is being called upon to deal with a declaration of war.”
Fate has left Jaelya Roussal ruling as Regent of Harkera at the most troubled time in its history. The Warlord Qabal Vyazin has set his sights on seizing the country and making it part of his powerful, barbaric empire, and he would crush the stirrings of the more progressive and compassionate way of life that the nation has embraced. Harkera is also home to a powerful secret which could affect the fate of all the Coalition worlds. Jaelya needs the help of every friend she can find to keep her daughter’s kingdom safe. But first she has to decide if she can trust those who offer to help her protect Harkera – or if to do so risks losing everything she cares for to betrayal.
Temsevar is an insignificant Periphery world on the very fringes of galactic civilization. Settled long before the rise of faster-than-light technologies and left isolated for hundreds of years, its population has degenerated into the barbarism of a medieval culture. This primitive world has nothing the wealthy planets of the Coalition could want, until it becomes unwitting host to one of their most dangerous enemies – Avilon Revid. But Temsevar has its own struggles, which are being played out against the backdrop of its harsh society and unforgiving climate.