Fighting under the banner of Lord Lamoric, Durand Col and his companions might have thwarted a mad duke's ambition and saved the crown, but it has brought them little but scars and empty purses. And now, with the fierce glory of their autumn campaign behind them, they have spent the winter counting their last pennies in their master's gloomy hall and wondering what the coming season will bring.One thing seems certain: the peace they forged will not hold. Too many barons have plotted against the king, too many strong rooms are empty, and, in their hearts, no one believes that a simple vote will long deter the brooding Duke of Yrlac.And indeed, with the advent of spring, the uneasy peace breaks across the kingdom. From his palace, the king rails against traitors and flings mad edicts across the land. There is open rebellion in the North. And, while the anxious lords of the kingdom look on, the Duke of Yrlac steps over the border of Lamoric's homeland.Even as Durand fights at Lamoric's side, his loyalties are increasingly torn. He cannot stray far from his master's wife - the one woman he can neither have nor forget - while siege and sorcery conspire to bring him closer to treason.Can his loyalties survive his divided heart? Can the land of his birth survive the forces that tear it asunder? Can love and loyalty endure in a time of treason?