The Empress of Blood is afraid.
After one of her councilors is murdered, Mara Bartunek, newly appointed ruler of Sangora and Talohira, finds herself unsure of whom she can trust. Hoping she and those she once considered friends can step out of the ashes of betrayal in the war-ravaged world around them, she calls for a peace summit between her own nation and neighboring Thanatanos. Meanwhile, Aleksander joins an unlikely ally in the investigation against the ruthless assassin working to disrupt the peace Mara so desperately hopes to forge.
However, something far more sinister is rising from the ruins of Nitra, the site of one of Mara's darkest days. The past never quite dies, but it does teach one simple truth:
No empire lasts forever.