Zofela may have fallen and the Bragalese revolt ended, but this is not the end of the struggle for the Koros to return Kastania to greatness. The Duras have raised the standard of revolt in Makenia and threaten the food supplies to the city of Turslenka. Astiras will have to gather a new army to deal with that problem.
Isbel has problems, too. The growing antipathy between her two young children, Istan and Argan, shows no sign of abating, while Amne’s new-found confidence threatens to upset the empress’s plans for a settled image to present the populace. There is also the awful realisation that Argan’s injuries from his fall are far more serious than first thought and indeed his life may well be threatened.
For Prince Jorqel the troubles are serious indeed. His beloved Sannia is in the hands of Lombert Soul who, along with the Duras family, have hatched a terrible plan to turn the population of Niake into drug-addled zombies. He has to judge the right moment to challenge Soul’s newly created army to battle and to rescue Sannia before the rebels carry out their threat to kill her.