Enter the city of Hart's Hope, ruled by gods both powerful and indifferent, riddled with sorcery and revenge. The city was captured by a rebellious lord, Palicrovol, who overthrew the cruel king, Nasilee, hated by his people.
Palicrovol, too, was cruel, as befitted a king. He took the true mantle of kinghood by forcing Asineth, now Queen by her father's death, to marry him, raping her to consummate the marriage. (But he was not cruel enough to rule.) He let her live after her humiliation; live to bear a daughter; live to return from exile and retake the throne of Hart's Hope.
But she, in turn, sent Palicrovol into exile to breed a son who would, in the name of the God, take back the kingdom from its cruel Queen.
©1983 Orson Scott Card; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks