Tamaran mercenaries have guarded the kings and queens of Mocene for the last two hundred years. When they allow an assassin close to Elam and his brother during a banquet, Elam is finally able to convince his brother of the threat they pose. A simple mission to return the Tamarans to their border is complicated somewhat by the presence of Moceni noblemen and their daughters intent on pressuring Elam into a marriage contract. With their plans to infiltrate Mocene thwarted, the Taramans initiate a brutal attack. Taken prisoner by a pack of varwulfs, Coiran must use all of her abilities if she is going to escape in time to protect Elam as he attempts to storm an occupied burh to rescue his brother.