Soraya Gamo was meant to be queen of Qilara, until an Arnath slave rebellion destroyed the monarchy and the capital city. Now, improbably, she sits on the new Ruling Council beside her former enemies, finally holding the political power she always wanted - but over a nation in ruins. As she works to rebuild Qilara, she can, at last, use what everyone once told her to hide: her brain.
But not everyone is ready to accept the new equality that the Ruling Council has decreed between the Arnathim and Qilarites. So when a slave ship arrives in the city, full of Arnathim captured before Qilara fell—the civil unrest that has been bubbling since the rebellion erupts.
Forced to confront her own prejudices, Soraya struggles to gain the trust of the Arnath people she once disregarded and establish peace in what has become chaos. With the threat of attacks high, Gelti, a former guard captain, trains Soraya in self-defense. As the two grow close, tension within the city ramps up, with danger, betrayal, and deception meeting Soraya everywhere she turns. Friends become foes, adversaries become companions, and the clashing of classes threatens to unravel all the good Soraya has been trying to do. Can Soraya, raised to be a proper Qilarite lady, learn to be a true leader? Or will the sins of her past forever haunt the footsteps of her future?