This is the second book in the Kingfountain series. The story picks up 1o years later. Owen is the Duke of Westmarch and is about to embark on his first real battle. His long time friend, Evie, is awaiting word of the battle at her home in the North. Owen’s first battle is a huge success and King Severn bestows several honors upon him – as well as challenges to his loyalty. Upon his return to Kingfountain, Owen learns that a new poisoner, Etayne, has taken up residence in Ankarette’s tower. She was sent to Pisan to be trained by the King’s head of the Espian, Mancini. Since Etayne is beholden to Mancini, Owen must decide if she is trustworthy or is just another self-serving foe.
Just as Owen is trying to learn the ins and outs of his position as Duke of Kiskaddon, word reaches the King that a man claiming to be his nephew Eyric is making a claim on the throne. Several monarchies are supporting Eyric and war is coming to Ceredigion once again. King Severn sends Owen and Evie on a diplomatic mission to thwart an attack on the kingdom, but their careful plans are soon disrupted. Will the pretender be found? Will Owen lose his love Evie to the duties imposed on them by the King? Will Owen be strong enough to make the sacrifices necessary to save the kingdom?
This is another fun, quick read. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.