Lyric Pentar's life as a scion of the ruling Pentar nobility, has so far been carefree and idle. Because of his father's common blood, he's so far down the line of succession he feels certain he'll never rise out of tiny home of Alaveth. That is fine with him, he loves its hills and valleys.
Lyric has little in common with his father, a rough man who bought his way into the nobility through the dowry paid for his wife and has had little use for his son since her passing. When a large contingent of royal troops arrive unexpectedly and Lyric is summoned to greet them, he soon suspects that his father has reached some type of deal to send him to away that will change his comfortable life for the worse.
From his Uncle Thom's stern old steward, Palin, Lyric learns that his uncle and cousin have both recently died of illness, leaving open th...