Tor, Nov 2004, 25.95, 496 pp.
R'shiel, ruling First Sister of the Blade of Medalon, who along with her half brother Tarja succeeds in their revolt against their obsessed mother, s dying and the kingdom is in trouble from outside invaders seeing an opportunity to take advantage of weakness. Tarja and his small loyalists struggle to stop the Karien invasion.
R'shiel's only hope to survive is to somehow find and convince the magical Harshini healers to save her life. The Harshini agree, but R'sheil must pay a price. Though the healers vow never to kill, they use others to handle the dirty work as fees for services rendered. R'shiel must destroy the Karien magical being Xaphista.
Meanwhile alliances are forming. Tarja joins forces with the Warlord of Krakander, Damin Wolfblade. The kingdom of Fardohyna, through a regal marriage of Princess Adrina, forges a partnership with Karien. However, betrayal and personal agendas are everywhere.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner