A NEW START—OR AN OLD CALLING?
Talia Merritt, a former military sniper once known as Death’s Handmaiden, is a woman haunted by her past. Her cybernetic arm and her phantom—the implant that allows her to control it—serve as a constant reminder of what she’s lost. But Talia is hoping to leave her past and her reputation behind and start anew on the colony world of Goruden, a hardscrabble planet of frontier-minded people seeking a better life. And she’s finally earned enough to start to make that dream come true.
In the bucolic town of Tsuri, she interviews for a job as a marksmanship instructor for local bigwig Signore Ferran Contesti. But Contesi is not what he seems. A recent arrival on Goruden, he hopes to mold the colony world in his own image—an image at odds with the unencumbered life free of government and corporate meddling that Talia has come to find.
Soon, Talia finds herself thrust into the start of another conflict. Talia desperately wants to stay out of it, but she may not have that luxury.
With the fate of a planet and her own peace of mind hanging in the balance, Talia must decide whether or not to once again take up the mantle of Death’s Handmaiden….
Darien and Syteria have been to hell and back. Their wounds and scars remain a part of them and who they are as they fight to stay together and prevent civil war. But when an old enemy is found alive he threatens their most precious secret and the future of both humans and donai. Will they be able to forge the new alliances needed to keep the Imperium from rising from the ashes? Or will the Imperium’s old guard rise to carry out a genocide that will doom the donai to extinction?
House Dobromil has stood against the emperor since the beginning. For generations, they have defied tyrannical edicts and stood up for donai and humans.
Syteria was kidnapped as a child. The Rhoans enslaved her, brainwashed and masculinized her in order to turn her into a soldier against her will. Despite this, she has not forgotten who or what she is.
The fading chaos of rebellion gives rise to a new power. Rival Houses compete for precious knowledge essential to the donai’s survival.
Lady Valeria Yedon, the emperor’s favorite assassin, thought herself free. But in the Imperium, oaths of fealty have no expiration date. The burdens of duty and honor bind everything, and everyone, together.