Civil war on the world of the "atevi "is over but diplomatic disputes and political infighting continue unabated. Bren Cameron has just returned to the capital from his country home, but his sojourn was anything but restful, for Bren and his associates have had a small war of their own to contend with. It ended with rebel leader, Machigi, joining the "atevi "congress representing the rebels as a member state.
Machigi, to Bren s utter shock, has invoked an ancient law. Tabini-aiji is enraged to have lost his personal negotiator, and Bren is becoming embroiled in a development that could result in his assassination.
Bren s bodyguard has warned him there is a crisis inside the immensely dangerous Assassins Guild, and that the recent dustup with the Shadow Guild may be only the beginning."