Galactic Spectrum Award nomination • Locus Recommended Reading List • Epic fantasy series with character-driven intrigue and spectacular magic
Simon, the court painter of Branion, was the closest friend of the kingdom’s ruler, Marsellus. Even though Marsellus was the vessel of the Flame and Simon was a follower of the opposing Essusiate religion, Simon was still Marselllus’ staunchest ally and defender—instead of Marsellus’ own priests and guards.
Yet not even Simon could protect Marsellus from unexpected treachery within the court. After an assassin ends Marsellus’ reign, it was Simon who became the champion and rescue of the new royal leader, Marsellus’ five-year-old daughter Kassandra.
With civil and religious war threatening the suddenly leaderless realm, Simon has no choice but to flee the country with Kassandra. Pursued by the very forces which should have been the new ruler’s protectors, Simon and a most-unlikely band of companions have to keep both the child and her inherited powers hidden—until they can reach the one person who could offer Kassandra sanctuary and a chance, however desperate, of regaining her kingdom.