Nevis Conarkin, mage owner of a sorcerous theater, is being framed for murder when a dead body is found in the royal box. Unfortunately, Nevis has no alibi, but she does have a motive. Although Nevis suspects the true murderer, the evidence points to one of her actors.
Meanwhile, Nevis is preparing her chaotic cast and crew for the opening night of a play she detests, but Devlin Graham, the monarch and Nevis' lover, insists on. The play commemorates the anniversary of her defeat of a renegade mage and his plot to allow an invasion by Cashogi foreigners. At the same time, the king is attempting to re-establish amicable relations with the visiting trade minister of Cashogi.
Against a background of malicious acts targeted at Nevis, her friends, and the kingdom, Nevis struggles to uncover the murderer and traitor.