Noble-born Tyren Risto, bound by tradition to serve in the Imperial Military, had resigned himself to accept whatever ceremonial office was awarded him within the capital city. But the impulsive act of defending a common foot soldier from injustice has earned him the enmity of the powerful Marro family. Tyren now finds himself relegated to the Outland, where he must confront a native rebellion headed by a ruthless new leader. Unprepared and rapidly outnumbered, he is now forced to weigh his commitment to duty with his growing doubts about the justice of his own cause. Tyren begins to wonder if he will ever return from this command alive . . . and if he was ever meant to.