Fans of L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s, bestselling fantasy series the Imager Portfolio will be pleased with the latest novel in his new story arc.
Six years have passed since the failed uprising of the High Holders against Rex Lorien.
The man behind the conspiracy, High Holder Ryel, has been head of the council, where the rex and Maitre Alastarcan keep an eye on him.
Charyn, eldest son of Lorien, has come of age and longs to better understand how Solidar has grown and changed so that he can become an effective rex.
His father keeps much to himself, justifying his silence with "you've plenty of time." So Charyn decides to educate himself by learning all he can from factors, from craft masters, and from his father's advisors - circumspectly.
When Jarolian privateers begin to disrupt Solidar's shipping, destroying ships and driving up the cost of goods, someone attempts to kill Charyn's younger brother.
The threatening notes that follow in the wake of other acts of violence against the rex and his family demand action - build more ships or expect someone to die.