The Plot: Aly fulfilled Kyprioth’s wager–she kept the Balitang children (Sarai, Dove and their younger half-siblings) alive until the end of the summer. Instead of returning home scot-free, Aly decides to stay in the Copper Isles and work with the raka conspiracy. The raka have a prophesy that fortells the rise of a twice-royal queen: a girl who is descended from both the luarin and raka royal lines. The only two eligible girls in the country are Sarai and Dove Balitang–their luarin father is cousin to the royal family and their (deceased) raka mother was descended from the old raka queens.
The conspiracy plans to groom Sarai (now seventeen) to be queen, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Aly has to build a network of spies, corral the high-spirited Sarai (who always seems to find an inappropriate man to sneak into the shadows with), unite luarin and raka conspirators despite long-standing, often violent racial tensions, and work through her new, confusing relationship with Nawat, the crow-turned-man.