Lanius is the only son of King Mergus of Avornis. But he is the son of the king’s seventh wife—and therefore illegitimate in the eyes of church and state. After the king’s death, the council of regents takes advantage of the irregular succession to use young Lanius as their figurehead while they rule behind the scenes.
Grus is a captain in the king’s navy, a man of common origins, as well as common sense. He is charged with guarding Avornis’ border against her enemies—including those who live in thrall of the Banished One. He’s watched his homeland weaken under careless rulers—and fears for the future as disturbing visions torment his dreams.
Now both Lanius and Grus must decide what’s best for the kingdom—before the influence of the Banished One spreads to their people as well.