(From the publisher):
Long has the House of the Tiger ruled Merina - guiding the tiny merchant city/state wisely and skillfully in times of peace and prosperity. But now the Emperor Balthasar has come to devour and destroy - his indomitable armies gathering at the gates, poised to crush the defenseless city under their heels.
Three courageous women stand between the Emperor and his triumph: Adele, the aging but still able Dowager Queen; the ruling Queen Lydana, possessor of an astounding sixth sense that is the private gift of her bloodline; and Princess Shelyra, Designated Daughter, lithe, quick, impetuous and ingenious, the young commander of spies and information gatherers. But they have no standing military and no arms - except their wiles, their wits and weapons of the spirit - with which to defend their besieged home. So royal matriarch, daughter and granddaughter alike must relinquish their city to the invading enemy without a fight - and vanish incognito into a world of shopkeepers, religious acolytes, craftspeople, gypsies, rebels and thieves in order to battle the Emperor from within his conquest.
But far more is at stake than the sovereignty of their noble house. For at Merina's core is a great and ancient magic - a mystical force which, if corrupted, will enable omnipotent evil to reign in terror for all eternity. It is this power that has attracted the gray mage, Apolon - imperial counselor, foul necromancer, servant of demons and master of the dead. And the sorcerer, in turn, has brought countless horrors to Merina. For the Dreadful Dark he serves has perverse and terrible hungers. And it will be sated by no less than the souls of all men, the Heart of a Goddess... and the blood of a Princess.
Original title: Tiger Burning Bright
Genre: Fiction→ Fantasy→ Sword and Sorcery