'Martil and the Rallorans are trying to gain control of the north for the rebel queen, Merren. But the people are turning against them because bards are painting them as murderous barbarians.
Martil wins a key battle but the usurper, Count Gello, escapes to Berellia with the remnants of his supporters. With his new allies and their fearpriests, he prepares a massive invasion of Norstalos.
Desperate, Merren comes up with what may be the only solution - to get the goblins on her side. But this race of primitive men have been vilified and persecuted for centuries and are suspicious of the queen and her companions. Then a dragon and its elf rider arrive, demanding that Martil, the Dragon Sword wielder, accompany them to their homeland...' (From the publisher's website.)
'Martil is a haunted man - a war hero, now derided as the 'Butcher of Bellic'. Leaving his beloved homeland he is set upon by bandits and tricked into taking a small child, Karia, to her uncle. But they only find one ex-bandit in the town, along with the Dragon Sword, a magical relic belonging to the rulers of Norstalos.
Norstalos's first-ever queen is trying to keep her crown. Her cousin, Duke Gello, wants it and is prepared to do anything to get it.
Martil can find no way out of caring for a child, fighting for a queen and discovering that even a magical sword is no guarantee of victory...' (Publisher's blurb)
'Norstalos stands on the brink of destruction. But the three invading armies are probably the least of Queen Merren's problems. Her people despise their would-be saviours, the army of goblins she has won to her side, while the dragons want Martil and the fabled Dragon Sword for themselves. Now Merren must make the most painful choice of her life ... marry Count Sendric for the good of the Royal House or the man who loves her, the troubled Champion, Martil. ' (Publication summary)