He shall be Allon's greatest king; of such a heritage as to rule Guardian and mortal alike - so says prophecy about the man to succeed Ellis, but he delays finding a husband for his daughter and heir, Ellan. Finally, he decides on Prince Sullivan of Gorham. Unknown, is that an age-old enemy is Sullivan's mother and accompanies him to Waldron, while Ellan's own ambition has waited for the right time to blossom.Ellan, Sullivan and his mother use subtlety to push the royal family to the brink. Even the Guardians are impacted by their dark machinations. Only Tristine and Darius suspect his mother's identity. But their efforts to warn Ellis fail, reduces the Guardians in numbers and forces Tristine to flee Waldron.Determined to save her father, Tristine meets two unlikely allies: a blacksmith and a crippled beggar. But how can they stop a coup? And what will become of the Great King?