Ethrea is an island in the center of the most important shipping route in the world. For four hundred years, it has been a land of peace and impregnable security, a perfect trading hub-and keeper of secrets. The King of Ethrea is dying. His only surviving heir is the princess Rhian. But if her enemies have their way, Ethrea will not be ruled by a woman. Dexterity Jones is a toymaker. To protect Princess Rhian and his country, he must place his trust in an exile from Mijak. Yet as Ethrea comes ever closer to civil war, a greater danger awaits. Across the sea,an empress has already slaughtered millions in the name of her god. And the war will not end-until the world kneels before her.