The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty. Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honour and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.
But Arlen Bales, the Painted Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honour refuse. Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a saviour, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart.
In the south, Inevera, Jardir’s first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing one another and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for enough glory to make a claim on the throne.
In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late.
Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton – rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.
All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them.
Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared …
Raised on a steady diet of fantasy novels, comic books and Dungeons & Dragons, Peter V Brett has been writing fantasy stories for as long as he can remember. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and art history from the University of Buffalo in 1995, and then spent more than a decade in pharmaceutical publishing before returning to his bliss. He lives in New York.
Peter has been shortlisted for the Legend Award on two previous occasions, in 2011 and 2014.