A dark and powerful fantasy from the best selling author of Ender's Shadow. Years after she is forced to marry the usurper who killed her tyrannical father, the exiled dark queen Asineth endeavors to reclaim her throne from the rebellious lord Palicrovol. Enter the city of Hart's Hope, ruled by gods both powerful and indifferent, riddled with sorcery and revenge. A rebellious lord, Palicrovol, who overthrew the cruel king, Nasilee, hated by his people, captured the city. Palicrovol, too, was cruel, as befitted a king. He took the true mantle of kinghood by forcing Asineth, now Queen by her father's death, to marry him, raping her to consummate the marriage. He was not cruel enough to rule, he let her live after her humiliation; live to bear a daughter; live to return from exile and retake the throne of Hart's Hope. But she, in turn, sent Palicrovol into exile to breed a son who would, in the name of the God, take back the kingdom from its cruel queen.