After twenty years in exile, Nelek and Trenna return to their homeland in Dyngannon with their children in tow. With war looming, they must find a way to keep their family safe as they travel through the Border Lands and straight into the heart of Dyngannon. Old enemies resurface and new alliances are forged as the fight for the Dyngannon throne threatens the peace that Nelek and Trenna have worked so hard to find.
“I don’t think I can do this, mother.”
His voice was so quiet she almost didn’t hear him. Trenna looked up at him. Wind flipped his dark hair back, giving her a clear view of his profile. Strong features like his father, she thought. A slightly cleft chin, hard cheek bones and broad forehead, but he had her mouth – thin and quirky. His eyes were undeniably like her own; deep green as ivy in the summer. Her heart swelled at the sight of him and for a blissful moment she considered telling him he couldn’t.
She could feed his doubt and let him run off to pursue whatever would make him happiest.
But that, she knew, would be the worst betrayal of all. Not just to the people he might lead someday, but also to Kaden himself, and the potential he had to be great.
“You asked me once, a long time ago, how to lead men in battle,” Trenna said. “Do you remember what I told you?”
Kaden looked down at her. “You said that the secret was in knowing who the good men are.”
She smiled and nodded. “I imagine running a country would be much the same. Know who the good men are, empower them to do what is right, and all should work out.”
“And what about my enemies?”
“Oh, you’ll want to know who they are, too,” she said wryly. “But your focus should stay on the good. Dwelling on the bad men will give them power over you. Fear will dictate your actions instead of generosity and peace. Do you understand?”