When King Ghalad goes missing, the peace treaty balances on a sword edge as his enemies threaten to take over the kingdom. Alswyn does not accept the theory that the King is a coward, especially when she discovers the remains of ash sorcery in his chambers.
To bring the King home and avert war, Alswyn must travel to the formidable Plains of Dera, where the goddess of ash magic rules. The rescue mission gets complicated when she runs afoul of Cynet, her former betrothed, and the goddess Dera herself.
They will both do anything to ensnare Alswyn once more in ash magic.