The once-wife of the Sundrili king has fled, taking her loyal servant with her. The action alone has sparked rumors of a scandalous love affair between the two, as well as schemes to place her back on the queen consortís throne. In an effort to dissuade such rumors, the Sundrili king has been constantly reminding all of the Popeís dispensation for his divorce, and speeding along his remarriage to a foreign bride. His tiny daughter has been removed from court so that she wonít represent a threat, taken to live at an estate far from the public eye and far from any plots to place her on the throne instead.
Meanwhile, across the sea, the Listonese Queen Regent, sister of that Sundrili king and widow of the late Listonese king Edward, has found herself constantly battling the Council. Since her young son has become the king in all but action, she has found the ill-will between her birth country and the one which she now rules makes it near impossible to do anything for the realm. In Liston, the Councilors dream of ways to render her helpless, desperate to maintain a truly Listonese king on the throne, and in the process find themselves conspiring to steal away the boy from his mother and sending her to a convent.
These are trying times indeed when queens are made and then unmade with a few whispering plots, boy kings are manipulated without any qualms and the seeds of war are being sown unknowingly.