Twenty-five years ago, a sworn bodyguard and a reluctant bride fled an angry prince, married in secret, and vanished. That prince is now the emperor, with a very long memory.
The children of the missing pair are now making their way in the world under assumed names, hoping to avoid the emperor’s wrath while following their special Talents.
The eldest son Muin is rising the ranks of the army. The second son Yskanda, a remarkable painter, is a prisoner in the lethal, silken cage of the imperial court.
The youngest Ryu, disguised as a boy, studies martial arts and the mysterious Essence power while leading the Redbark Sect that fights for justice for commoners. Her closest companion hides dangerous secrets of his own.
Meanwhile the emperor’s own children test the boundaries of royal power and intrigue, stirring ripples that threaten guilty and innocent alike.
About the Author: Sherwood Smith has published over forty books, one of which was an Anne Lindbergh Honor Book; she’s twice been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and once a Nebula finalist. She fell in love with Chinese historical dramas and hero tales six years ago, and ever since has immersed in Asian history, literature, and language.