Spurning her royal heritage to be raised by the great warrior, Kessligh, her exquisite swordplay astonishes all who witness it. But Sasha is still young, untested in battle and often led by her rash temper. In the complex world of Lenayin loyalties, her defiant wilfulness is attracting the wrong kind of attention.
Lenayin is a land almost divided by its two faiths: the Verenthane of the ruling classes and the pagan Goeren-yai, amongst whom Sasha now lives. The Goeren-yai worship swordplay and honour and begin to see Sasha as the great spirit—the Synnich—who will unite them. But Sasha is still searching for what she believes and must choose her side carefully.
When the Udalyn people—the symbol of Goeren-yai pride and courage—are attacked, Sasha will face her moment of testing. How will she act? Is she ready to lead? Can she be the saviour they need her to be?
Petrodor is a city of alleys and shadows, where life is cheap and the only respected currency is blood.Away from the hills of her Lenayin homeland, Sasha is fighting a new battle in the dark alleys and wealthy houses of Petrodor. An influential trading centre, Petrodor holds the key to preventing the coming war between Lenayin and the mighty Bacosh. Together with her mentor Kessligh, Sasha attempts to navigate the political intrigues of the port city and find a new way to stop the war.It is the serrin, the beautiful but dangerous people from beyond the Bacosh, who will be the pivot in this struggle. How much can Sasha trust her old serrin friend Errollyn? And how much can she trust herself?
For two hundred years Tracato has been the center of enlightenment, as the serrin have occupied human lands and sought to remake humanity anew. But the serrin have not destroyed Rhodaan’s feudal families entirely, and as Tracato faces the greatest threat to its survival in two centuries, old rivalries are stirring. Sasha must assist her mentor Kessligh to strengthen the Tracato Nasi-Keth, yet with one royal sister siding with the feudalists and another soon to be married to Tracato’s most powerful foe, her loyalties are agonizingly divided.Worse still, from Sasha’s homeland the Army of Lenayin are marching to make war upon Tracato. Can she fight her own people? Or must she join them, and fight not only her lover Errollyn, but to extinguish the brightest light of hope in all the land—serrin civilization itself?
The heart-stopping conclusion to the Trial of Blood & Steel quartet.The Army of Regent Arrosh advances on the forces loyal to Saalshen, homeland of the serrin people, as the serrin’s friends are in full retreat. Their only hope is to reach the city of Jahnd — the serrin word for haven — across the Ipshal River.The Army of Lenayin marches with the Regent, but Sasha, sister of newly crowned King Koenyg, can no longer stomach the awful cause for which her people fight. As tensions build between Sasha and her brothers, her sister Sofy — wedded to the Regent — travels to the city of Tracato to attempt to negotiate a peaceful transition of its rich heritage to her husband’s rule. But there are forces beneath the Regent’s banner that wish to see all serrin and serrin-influenced civilisation destroyed for good.While the serrin people fight for survival, families must be betrayed, enemies reconciled, nations persuaded and great armies fought, as Sasha’s tale reaches its dramatic conclusion.