Torn from her mother’s arms as a child, Kavi has spent most of her life in slavery to the brutal Milecian empire. A twist of fate takes her to the southlander city of Vayi, famous for its warriors and their skill in battle. There an act of bravery brings her into the protection of the young heir to the city, Ananuenya. Free of the collar, for the first time Kavi can choose her own path in the world. Her god demands that she return to her faith, and walk a path of peace. Her honour guides her had to the shield and sword. As she struggles with her conscience, her choice will have consequences not only for herself, but for Vayi and the entire country of Rahal. The seed of revolution is here.
Ananuenya is a warrior of the Zhasala, raised from birth to lead her clan, taught by her mother to hate the empire that rules over her land.
After she comes of age she discovers that her father has betrayed her, promising her in marriage to a northern nobleman. Torn between her duty to her clan and her love for the freed slave, Kavi, she and her friends abandon their home. They are drawn by rumours of a rebellion rising in the northern city of Kanthir. There, she believes, she can earn a place for herself, and join the fight to break the chains of empire.
Her quest for freedom and honour will awaken ancient magic, and set in motion a war that will burn through Rahal, and risk bringing about the doom of the very land she seeks to protect.
It’s been nearly two years since Ananuenya’s desperate last stand on the Rhunen Pass lit the rebellion in Rahal. Her army has grown as stories of her victories in battle against the Milecian empire spread throughout the country. Peasant and nobleman, northerner and Zindali, men and women: they flock to her banner, drawn to the freedom and independence that she promises.
Still grieving her losses, Ananuenya is floundering under new responsibilities that she was never prepared for. A warrior by nature, she is adrift in the unfamiliar seas of the Rahali politics of the north, while her father works to undermine her fragile alliances.
Even in the night there’s no peace. Her sleep is trouble by strange dreams, and powerful feelings that seem to come from someplace else. As they being to bleed into her waking hours they will lead even her closest companions to question her.
Even as she sends her emissaries to rouse the sleeping corners of Rahal she is beset by conspiracy and conflict that threatens to tear apart all that she’s built.
Ananuenya’s plans have fallen apart. With her name and her army stripped from her, she has been sent into exile.
In the south, the Fedic Zindali have been taken into slavery.
In the west, the Widows have been decimated.
In the north, Shev has succeeded in raising some of his Dorshan kinsmen to fight. He’s found a home, a family, and a wife who he is coming to love. Now, he has to convince them to join in the greater battle for Rahal that lies outside their borders.
And something dark, something ancient, is emerging from the sea.
Ananuenya sets out to learn who it was who plotted against her. It’s a journey that will take her to the Living Heart, and introduce her to a much larger world than she ever thought existed. She will have to decide if her cause is worth exploiting the darkness inside her. Will she have the courage to wield magic, and win back her army in time to defeat the imperial forces gathering to crush her rebellion forever?
The war grinds slow and exceedingly fine. From all corners it seems as though the empire is turning its attention to other territories, leaving Rahal alert and uneasy.
The noblemen of the capital city of Yrinas take the quiet as a sign of weakness. Feeling themselves in a position of power, they invite the empire to negotiate a peace, and trade victory for gold.
Ananuenya finds herself fighting on the unfamiliar ground of politics in the capital, determined to see an end to the empire in her country.
Korva and Thameena, Widows of Rahal, have come to Yrinas, hoping that Thameena can study in the Academies. Living in the Reds, they soon find themselves embroiled in an uprising among the city’s underclass, led by the charismatic Phienne Lour.
Even as a rebellion stews in the slums of Yrinas, striking out in her name, Ananuenya finds new allies, and learns that not all of her friends can be trusted. The betrayal will inch Rahal closer to the doom that threatens its very existence.
Four worlds just a few steps from our own. Some have slid into dystopia. Others cling to civilization. Three short stories and a novella explore the fragile boundary of all we know.
Come To Rest: Toma is an immortal user of Great Magic, who has fought uncounted years of war, and longs to find home.
A Drink to Fill the Dark: A nameless servant is doomed to brink his master all he desires.
The Edge of the World: Yanya is a sellsword who has had her fill of adventure. One last journey is all she needs to get home.
Mummer’s Daughter: The specter of invisible enemies hangs over the protected city-states of the future. Ed is a young artist whose plan for her life is falling apart. Emma lives in terror of her secret being discovered. The fragile happiness that they find with each other will be pitted against the overwhelming fear of the unknown.
Cut adrift from her dream of escaping her backwater town, Marianne is drawn to a mysterious stranger named Ewan. He promises eternal life, full of magic and wonder. All he needs her to do is open a door to his world. One simple act, and whenever has to worry about anything again.
Too good to be true? Oh, yes.
Marianne joins forces with a helpful and charming vampire named Ash to hunt the monsters she unwittingly unleashed. As they grow closer, Ash shows Marianne a bigger world than she imagined, and Marianne convinces Ash to fulfil a quest two hundred years in the making: ending Ewan’s threat for good.
Before love, love, and love’s ending.