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I was an ice child, having the ill luck to be born early, in the deepest storms of the winter, when the drifts of snow can bury whole caravans without a trace, and the winds will cut a man open with slivers of ice. So they say, in any case, in the village in which I was born, the village huddled at the base of the mountain that houses the Winter Castle, the last outpost before the road winds west into Ismir.
So begins the story of Catwin. Orphaned and peasant born, Catwin is a nobody. She lives her life unseen and unthought of…until one fateful mistake brings her to the attention of the Duke of Voltur. The Duke is one of the most legendary and ruthless commanders of history, the absolute power of the Winter Castle, and a man determined to seize the throne by any means necessary.
Catwin, plucked from her life at the edge of the Kingdom, is thrust abruptly into the world of the Court when she is chosen by the Duke of Voltur to be a Shadow—spy, shield, and blade—to his niece, the Lady Miriel DeVere. The Duke’s ruthlessness is legendary, and he will stop at nothing to become the power behind the throne, using Miriel as a pawn to catch Garad’s heart.
But the Duke’s carefully-laid plans are only a piece of the intrigue of the court, and greater forces than Catwin can imagine are massed against her, determined to eliminate Miriel and impose a new order of their own. If Catwin and Miriel are to survive, they must learn quickly who to trust, and when to turn their skills against the very people who have trained them…
Book I: Shadowborn
Winning is its own trap…
With Catwin’s help, Miriel has captured the heart of the King, but their victory has come at a cost: the suspicion and enmity of the Duke, and the unrelenting hatred of the Court. As they recover from the attempt on their lives, the two form a fragile alliance, promising that their first loyalty is to each other, and that their one goal is to survive.
But to survive, Catwin and Miriel need power, and the search for power of their own draws them ever further into the Court and inexorably closer to the throne. Enemies surround them, ruthless and vengeful, and the only way forward is a dark path that threatens to sever them from themselves.
For it is not only enemies that are a danger to Light and Shadow now, but the weakness of their own hearts. As she protects them both, Catwin struggles against her love for Temar, the Duke’s assassin; to capture the King’s heart, Miriel must forget both her love for Wilhelm, and her passionate belief in the populist uprising. A reckoning is coming, a betrayal that has been in the making for decades, and if they are to survive, both Catwin and Miriel must be prepared to give up everything they hold dear.
Book II: Shadowforged
Follow your destiny…
At last, Catwin and Miriel have chosen their own path, escaping the Court and its machinations, and fleeing to the Norstrung Provinces, to aid the rebellion. As they shed the masks and deceptions of their former life, however, both must face the fact that the same dark forces they fled are at work even in the furthest reaches of Heddred.
But it is not only avarice and hatred that endanger them—the prophecy made at Catwin’s birth is slowly but surely coming true, and betrayal has followed her in her escape from the court. As the shadows of war and rebellion mass, Catwin must face the fact that if she wishes to be true to herself and her alliance with Miriel, it may be she who bears the cost of saving her kingdom…
Book III: Shadow’s End
Explore the world of Heddred…
A new king must find a way to end the invasion of his homeland. A young woman grapples with the reality of a devastating prophecy. A rebel finds himself aiding the monarchy he swore to overturn. Return to Heddred to learn more about characters familiar and unfamiliar, friends and foes…
It has been two years since Miriel and Catwin sought shelter in Priteni, a land they thought to be no more than legend. With Heddred far behind them, they believe they have found a safe haven at last.
But Priteni is a land of old alliances and older grudges. When an army appears on the horizon, Miriel and Catwin are thrown once more into a world of secrets and lies…