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Eighteen-year-old companion trainee Ciardis Weathervane has won the friendship of the royal heir and saved his claim to the throne. Yet her interference in the inheritance rights leaves more harm done than good. With the death of the Princess Heir, the Ameles forest—the home of the kith—is dying.
The inhabitants of the forest, magic-wielding non-humans, are defiant. They have not forgotten their long struggles nor are they content to watch as the last of their lands perish. As humans begin to die in gruesome deaths, the Emperor dispatches the royal heir to the forests with the solution to the kith concerns.
With enemies closing ranks in Sandrin, Ciardis can little afford to leave the city's nest of vipers to take on a new task. But she's given no choice when her loyalty to the crown and courts are called into question.
To keep the Companions' Guild happy and the favor of the Imperial Court, Ciardis will be tested in frightening new ways, especially when she's faced with an obstacle that could risk the lives of her friends and the family she never thought she had.