Rhian, the new Queen of Ethrea, needs to bring together different nations in order to save her country, Ethrea, from the Mijak warriors. It's a desert civilization that wants to expand their territory and after passing through the obstacles in the previous novels, the warriors are waiting for the winds to pick up before sailing towards Ethrea, their new target. The one to lead them are the Empress, Hekat, the high godspeaker, Vortka, and the warlod and Hekat's second son, Dimmi.
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In Icthia, Dimmi and Vortka argue as Dimmi's arrogance has grown. Vortka then speaks to Hekat and she asks why they can't sail. He tells her that the winds aren't strong enough for the boats to leave the harbour.
In Ethrea, Rhian needs to handle the rebellious nobles, Kylin and Dumwin. She has to fight them and in the castle, she and Alasdair, her husband and Ethrea's King, constantly argue over her choices.
When Rhian is alone, Han, the Emperor of Tzchung, suddenly appears. He warns her of impending trouble Mijak will bring. Rhian then takes Zandakar, Hekat's banished first born, out of the dungeon to train for the fight with the nobles. He and Dex, the toy maker turned prophet, are kept apart from one another.
After, Rhian and Alasdair fight again and he visits Zandakar so they can choose a proper blade for her upcoming duel. Meanwhile, Rhian sends a letter to the dukes and Helfred, the head of religion, is the one to deliver. The reply is that they duel in 5 days time at the Tassifer's Feast.
Han criticises and teases her, again warning her of what the winds are telling him. Dex and Ursa, Dex's friend and royal physick, talk about the recent events and speak about Tzchung Empire's use of sorcery.
The day of the duel finally comes. Helfred blesses her beforehand. The ambassadors arrive to be witness to her prowess. The dukes are killed and Helfred shows his capability with words.
During a privy council meeting, the sons of the nobles, Davin and Raymont, are brought to audience. Davin agrees to Rhian's terms while Raymont is furious and kept as a prisoner.
In the village, Dex refuses to see Hettie, his dead wife who acts as a messenger of God, again due to the troubles he has encountered.
In the castle, the council discuss raising an army against Mijak but cannot since it violates the treaty between the trading nations. It states Ethrea is not to have an army. They hear the new ambassador from Icthia hasn't come in yet, prompting them to think Icthia has been taken. They plan a meeting with the ambassadors since the involvement of all nations is needed and Zandakar is told to join.
Later, a chaotic meeting occurs since respect for Rhian is lacking and the ambassadors are accusing her of plotting with Han. They ask to see Dex and Rhian sends Idson, the garrison Commander, to retrieve him, hoping Dex won't hold a grudge due to their disagreement in the previous novel. Dex recounts his vision. Of everyone present, Arbenia's ambassador is the most reluctant to believe anything.
In Icthia, Hekat is told the horses might not survive and finds out Dimmi killed slaves without tell her. She doesn't punish him but tells him to come to the sacrifice of slaves. Vortka thinks sacrificing slaves is wrong.
Back in Ethrea, it is revealed that the Tzchung Empire has been stopping winds so the Mijak warriors cannot sail but they can't do it any longer. Sun-dao, Han's brother, tells Han to tell Rhian about their work. Han finds Rhian who then summons Helfred, Alasdair and Dex. They then want to confirm with Zandakar.
After, Dex speaks to Zandakar about the problems as a friend.
Litany, a religious event spanning a week, begins. Ambassadors decline another invitation to meet except for Lai. Zandakar is released to Dex. Sun-dao proposes to go to Icthia.
In the village, Dex and Zandakar talk about his family. Zandakar then tells Dex how Mijak might attack – by sailing to all the harbours around Ethrea and break the surrounding walls. Sun-dao suddenly appears in their home and takes them to Han via wind.
Sun-dao, Zandakar and Dex, as a witness, go to Icthia. Rhian is told that Dex and Zandakar have disappeared but doesn't know where. They keep it hushed. Another meeting with ambassadors is held and it goes well in comparison to the first as Rhian manages to convince them that there is a threat.
The three reach Icthia through wind and Zandakar goes to the godhouse to speak to Vortka. During the talk, to convince Vortka that he's listening to a malevolent force, God takes over Dex and shows Vortka an unknown vision. Vortka then reveals to Zandakar that he is his father and gives him a scorpion knife.
They leave and get into a fight with Sun-dao since he came to kill Hekat and Dimmi. Zandakar damages him and they vanish as warriors come towards the harbour. Hekat's shocked and even more so when Vortka tells her that Mijak's conquest must end. She continues her quest anyway.
On the way to Ethrea, Sun-dao dies. In Ethrea, Helfred comforts a distressed Rhian and with Alasdair and Han, they go to the docks after Han reveals the three are coming home. Rhian isn't happy with Han.
They learn what happened and Rhian is angry at Dex for not letting Sun-dao complete his assassination task.
In Icthia, the winds return after Hekat sacrificed ten thousand slaves and the warhost finally sails.
In Ethrea, Zandakar is made war leader, much to everyone's distain, so he can train soldiers. Dex convinces Helfred to support Rhian in spite of the sorcery involved. Helfred is visited by the spirit of his uncle, Marlan, who tells him that Dex is right about everything.
After, Rhian, Han and Zandakar go to Harbisland and speak with the ruler, Dalsyn. After his agreement to fight, Arbenia agrees. Upon arrival to Ethrea, a new treaty is formed and envoys to all other nations are delegated. Planning for war begins. An armada is formed.
Rhian addresses her citizens in Church and inspiration to fight spreads throughout the land.
Ludo and Alasdair go with the armada and it loses the battle. The trading nations withdraw their support to protect their own lands. Han demands Zandakar as the price for his continued assistance and Rhian refuses. The council continues planning and the dukes leave for different parts of the country.
Hekat finally draws close to Ethrea. She sacrifices warriors for good luck then plans attack, the same Dimmi and Zandakar had thought of. Vortka attempts to convince her not to do this.
In Ethrea, Mijak ships are spotted. Han and Rhian speak with Han understanding his motive of wanting to kill Zandakar was wrong since the spirit of Sun-dao visited in the wind to tell him. Tzchung will assist in battle.
Battle begins as Rhian stands her guard at the harbour. When Mijak warriors land, Rhian is separated from everyone and Hekat is convinced to stay onboard. Dex burns warriors who come into the first aid area. Zandakar searches for Dimmi, finds him, and takes him hostage. They ride towards Hekat.
Hekat wakes in Vortka's arms and admits to herself that she loves him. They see Zandakar and a happy reunion lasts for a few moments. Zandakar tells her that she is wrong and Vortka agrees, admitting that Zandakar had come to see him. Hekat becomes outraged. Vortka tells her Zandakar knows his real father now.
Hekat and Vortka fight and Vortka releases anger never seen before. As he tells Hekat she is selfish, she subconsciously puts a blade in his throat. Dimmi laughs. Hekat takes her rage on him, revealing he was Nagarak's son and that Zandakar's her true son.
She deeply mourns for Vortka and loses all will to live. Dimmi kills her. Zandakar and Dimmi duel. Dex and Rhian find them and Rhian emotionally blackmails Zandakar to kill Dimmi. Zandakar spends the next five days gathering the warriors around the country.
Meanwhile, Hettie convinces Dex to go to Mijak to help Zandakar restore the region to a peaceful one. Soon, everyone parts – Zandakar & Dex to Mijak, Han to Tzchung.
Rhian and Alasdair begin to rebuild Ethrea.
Seven and a half months later, Dex sends toys for Rhian's birthday.
Best part of story, including ending:
It was incredibly emotional in regards to Zandakar's struggle to come to terms of hurting his family, which gave much more depth to the story.
Best scene in story:
All the scene with Dimmi & Hekat as it shows their tense mother-son relationship and ones between Dex & Zandakar, showing the strength of their unlikely friendship.
Opinion about the main character:
Rhian continues to hold her ground in a male dominate field and manages to bring the trading nations together.