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|A Novel of the unknown|
|Cover Artist||Lloyd Foye & Associates|
|UK Release Date|
|Pages||Hard cover: 467 Soft cover: 592|
|Series||Daughter of the Lioness|
|Preceded by||Trickster's Choice|
In the spring after the events of Trickster's Choice, the Balitang family returns to Rajumat, where Duke Mequen's aunt, Lady Nuritin, awaits their return. Lord Elsren is now heir to the throne, and the outer isles are beginning to revolt. Aly has trained a group of spies - her 'pack' - who report to her, calling her 'Duani', or 'boss lady'. She also faces relationship troubles with Nawat, who is struggling to find his place in the world of men, and puzzled over why she won't mate with him. He is soon sent away by the leaders of the rebellion to fight on the outer isles.
In the city, Aly faces many new challenges. The spymaster of the Copper isles is a man called Topabaw, a cruel man who became lazy as his reputation grew. Aly soon destroys Topabaw's relationship with the regents through psychological warfare, and he is executed, to be replaced with a far more inexperienced man, Sevmire Ambau. She also faces opposition from Taybur Sibigat, captain of King Duvenon's personal guards, who is the first to realize that she is a spy. Luckily, Taybur cares only about the King - he is not interested in politics, so long as Duvenon is safe. Dove, Sarai's younger sister, discovers the raka conspiracy and is allowed to join it, but Sarai remains unaware of it, save for the way the raka watch her wherever she goes. Finally, Aunt Nuritin is the head of a luarin conspiracy, which also plots to overthrow the current rulers, but has not yet made a move towards this goal. Aly also receives help; Daine, her adoptive aunt,gifts her with a collection of creatures called darkings through Tkaa the Basilisk, that agree to spy for the rebellion.
The rebellion's first major act is when a powerful member of the luarin conspiracy, Duke Nomru, is arrested and sent to Kanodang prison. Aly's pack successfully release all of Kanodang's political prisoners and get them to safety on the outer isles, where several rebellions are now in place. The rebellion continues to spread discord, while gathering popularity, and eventually begins to attract the attention of the regents. Noticing Sarai's popularity, they offer her a marriage to Dunevon in an attempt to control her. However, buried in spy reports and plots, Aly fails to notice Sarai's infatuation with Zaimid Hetnim, a young Carthaki healer, until it is too late. The couple incapacitate their servants and elope to Carthak, leaving the rebellion stunned.
However, this failure comes with a blessing - the rebellion now turns its attentions to Dove, who, as an intelligent and cool-headed young woman, is a far more suitable candidate for the throne. Shortly after wards, Elsren joins King Dunevon on a boat trip to celebrate the king's birthday - however, a magical, Crown-produced storm destroys the ship, killing the boys and many others, and the regents become the rulers of the Isles. However, with the help of the crows, the darkings and the revolution, the Copper Isles are soon in upheaval - people are rioting, the raka on the outer isles are rebelling and the Crown's soldiers are spread thin. Even Taybur Sibigat, still captain of the King's guard, has joined the raka conspiracy, after the regents kill his beloved king. Tortall and Carthak stop trading with the Isles, and repeated attacks on slave ships mean that merchants will do anything to avoid carrying slaves.
Aly begins to turn the regents against each other, planting false 'proof' that Rubinyan is having an affair, and learns from the darkings that her plot has worked. Nawat returns, confident in his role as a man, and he and Aly sleep together for the first time, then every night. The revolt happens, killing many on both sides, even though the rebellion tries to avoid bloodshed. Ulasim, the rebellion's general, dies killing Prince Rubinyan, and Ochobu, Ulasim's mother, head of the group of rebel mages known as the 'Chain', is killed in the fighting. Many of Aly's Pack are also killed. However, the conspiracy succeeds, Princess Imajane commits suicide, and Dove is crowned Queen. Aly tells the rebellion's leaders, including Dove, about her true parentage, then goes on to marry Nawat Crow and becomes pregnant after removing the anti-pregnancy charm he gave her before mating.