As a child, Ashne swore two oaths. With her adopted sister Zsaran she made a pact: one would never die without the other. To their mistress, the queen, who plucked them both out of the inhospitable marshlands, she vowed eternal loyalty.
When a tiger spirit from a rival kingdom kidnaps the queen's only daughter, Ashne, now a trusted bodyguard, follows in pursuit despite knowing that her sword will be of little use against the ancient magic steadily reawakening across the land. But it is her human adversaries who prove more dangerous as she navigates the shifting political landscape in a kingdom still recovering from a decades-long war: a foreign sorcerer, an eccentric apothecary, an ambitious bandit chief — perhaps even Zsaran, who has long awaited a chance to achieve freedom for both herself and Ashne.
Soon Ashne can no longer reconcile her love for her sister and her devotion to the women they have both served since childhood. Yet she must bring back the princess regardless. If not for love and duty, for her people's continued survival against the encroachment of powerful foreign conquerors, before whose ravenous ambitions the squabbles of two tribal kingdoms amount to dust.