After twelve years of conquest, Janir of Meanga has become the High King of all the human lands. At his side is Neathander Arian, the magician who once loved him.
Disillusioned with Janir's ambition, the violence of war and--most of all--with himself, Neathander flees north, hoping to escape Janir’s final war. There he encounters two lost children, and when he helps them find their way home he meets their father: Aorin of Rivensed, the last independent lesser King.
Neathander has done monstrous things, but Aorin is gentle and kind and welcomes him despite his past. Neathander, in his turn, grows to love him.
When Janir’s army marches, Neathander must defend Aorin and his kingdom. But can Neathander save Rivensed without losing himself… or will the love of a lesser King redeem him?