|Every year warriors travel to Basilopolis auditioning for the Emperor of Makhaira's personal company. Most are found wanting and sent away with nothing more than tales of how they were almost good enough.
Edward Aethelredson comes to claim his rightful place amongst them. During his journey, however, he pledges his sword and life to discover who kidnapped and murdered an innocent girl. He finds himself unraveling a conspiracy that could threaten the Empire's foundations.
Armed with his ancestral sword and his mentor's teaching, Edward must also face the memories of a father slain, a king defied, and past oaths sworn.