Ashai Larish is an assassin from the brutal Denari Lai order. Religious zealots, Denari Lai are kept loyal through an addiction to the same magic that makes them unstoppable. They have become the main weapon for the nation of Nishi'iti, and in a hundred years, they have never failed. Until now. Ashai has to kill Pushtani King Abadas Damar and his daughter/heir, Markari. He infiltrates the king's inner circle. Only the venerable Captain Bauti of the Royal Guard, whose love for Makari is well-known in the palace, suspects Ashai of anything. Except Ashai has fallen for Makari.