What makes a king? It takes more than a name, more than gold, more even than the possession of an ancient power stone-as Valerius learns in this second volume of the Valerian Chronicles. With his Hidden Valley discovered by the enemy, Valerius faces tough decisions about the future of his rag-tag force, and must either make war on an old friend, or risk annihilation.
Meanwhile, Thorngere travels the Inland Sea in the guise of a peddler, building a resistance network he hopes will help free the Empire from Fantar and reestablish Valerius Everreigning as High King. As he slumbers by his campfire late one evening, his life too, is suddenly changed by a dancing girl named Vahla... A girl whose blurted prophecy leads to a naval battle outside Dulcai; the thrilling rescue of King Reuters' daughter, Eomer; the siege of Kantar; and a major battle which brings Valerius to Zagorbia and threatens Fantar himself.