Dreibrand Veta has killed for his country. At the frontlines of imperial expansion, he seeks to rebuild the fortune of his noble family. In his daring travels he encounters the rys, a race far more powerful than the human empire that bred him. Dreibrand cannot defy the rys Queen Onja nor defend his companion, Miranda, and her children from the wicked tyrant Queen.Desperate for help, Dreibrand and Miranda join Shan, a rys with emerging powers who plans to challenge Onja. In Shans pursuit of the rys throne, he exerts his magical powers, gathers his allies, and incites rebellion among Onjas human subjects. Great wealth and power will reward the kings, warriors, and spies that align themselves with the rys pretender, but defeat could mean worse than death. Onja can imprison souls and her genocidal rage is legendary. Everything is at risk for Shans union of renegades.