Someone is assassinating the leaders of both the Star Kingdom of Manticore and the recently liberated former slave planet of Torch. Though most believe the Republic of Haven is behind the murders, Anton Zilwicki and Havenite secret agent Victor Cachat believe there is another sinister player behind the scenes. Queen Berry of Torch narrowly escaped one assassination attempt, and a security officer from Beowulf has been assigned to protect her, a task complicated by the young monarch's resentment of bodyguards, and the officer's growing attachment to her. Meanwhile, powerful forces in the Solarian League are maneuvering against each other to gain the upper hand, not realizing or, perhaps, not caring that their power struggle is threatening the League's very existence and could plunge the galaxy into war. Once again New York Times best-selling authors David Weber and Eric Flint join forces in an exciting new novel in the Honorverse.