Princess Sybelle never expected she’d have to fight a war to claim her throne. But when her father's sudden death left the peaceful kingdom of Lionessa under her protection, a foreign king offers her a terrible choice: marry his son, or have her kingdom destroyed.
Sybelle’s inexperience is mocked by the nobles, and her brother is caught up in a political game meant to terrorise her into giving up her crown. Her stubborn refusal to marry a foreign prince leaves Sybelle on the brink of war, abandoned, and utterly alone.
With her throne and the lives of her loved ones at risk, Sybelle must sacrifice everything to protect what is rightfully hers, even if that means becoming the monster she hates most.
Fresh from her victory against King Nero of Evrad, Sybelle settles into her role as Queen and with not a moment to spare. A fleet from the Kingdom of Azura looms just outside the shores of Lionessa, inching closer and closer with each passing day.
Upon landing on the sands of Lionessa, King Alessio offers Sybelle a chance to avoid the humiliation of defeat and to forfeit half of the newly-claimed land of Evrad to him. Still bitter over King Alessio's refusal to help her against King Nero in the early days of her reign, Sybelle declines, despite being troubled by the prospect of leading her people into another war.
The conflict has ended. Queen Sybelle nears the end of her pregnancy, yet finds herself embroiled in another dispute that will dash her hopes of maintaining peace. As his ships are plundered and his trade is stifled, King Crios of Ludorum is at his wit’s end and demands that Sybelle breaks her alliance with the pirates and puts their unlawful business to an end.
The decision to do as he asks weighs heavily on her mind. Should she sever all ties, she risks instability for her people. Should she defy the order, she risks their chance for peace. Now, she finds herself torn between her desires and the fear of becoming a monster.
While Queen Sybelle rules her kingdoms and conducts politics from her palace in Lionessa, Gyles Arrer travels to Azura. Unsettled by the changes, the Azurians struggle with the strong presence of their longtime foes; the pirates that their new Queen has called her allies.
Between friendships, old and new, the outbreak of the war with Ludorum and his own demons, Gyles is left with the task of maintaining Queen Sybelle's rule over Azura and holding the entire kingdom together.