When history is a lie, how can you know who to die for?
The time has come for Kris Denn of Rumika to challenge for their place in the Warders Circle of Twaa-Fei, adding a seventh voice to the nations dedicated to keeping a fragile peace through diplomacy and duels rather than war and death. Kris must face all six warders in the dueling circle and either win over four of them or, in defeat, earn their respect and support. Kris has spent their time on the sky islands of Twaa-Fei seeking alliances, forming a strong bond with Warder Ojo Kante of Quloo, whose nation needs Rumika’s precious aerstone to stay afloat. Ojo defeats Kris in the first duel, but gives his backing. After series of wins and losses, including a brutal defeat by Warder Lavinia Junius of the Mertikan Empire, it comes down to a final bout with Junior Warder Oda no Michiko of Kakute. She is at war with herself, under pressure from her imperial master, Lavinia, to win, and from her grandfather’s ghost, The Golden Lord executed by Lavinia’s hand, to lose and deal a defeat to the empire. What she decides will irrevocably set the course of the future.
Youth and ambition cannot shield you from the storm. Oda no Michiko and Kris Denn have arrived to take their places on the Warder’s Circle of Twaa-Fei, where the warders are entrusted to settle disputes and avoid war among the nations of the sky. Some conflicts are resolved with diplomacy, some with duels of blade and magic. Michiko and Kris are young bladecrafters eager to prove themselves worthy — Michiko as junior warder for her home of Kakute, Kris as a challenger to earn a place for their home of Rumika on the Circle. But before they have even settled in, a power struggle erupts, a man’s head is parted from his shoulders, and every good thing Michiko thinks she knows about the empire comes into question. A storm is coming, and Kris and Michiko stand at its eye. Will it bind the nations of the sky together… or tear them apart?
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