Amne, daughter of emperor Astiras I Koros of the Kastanian Empire, despairs of finding love from her cold husband, Prince Elas. Her heart is set on the captain of the palace guard, Lalaas, but he refuses to submit to her advances. In desperation Amne turns to the handsome young nobleman Dragan Purfin, who has ambitions of his own, to rule Kastan City, and he eagerly begins an affair with the Princess. Lalaas cannot stand by while the scheming Dragan tries to manipulate Amne into betraying her husband, and takes steps to bring the lust-addicted Amne to her senses. Meanwhile Dragan makes his plans to kill Elas and marry Amne in order to rule from the throne of Kastan City. Emperor Astiras has worries of his own. His own infidelity with the Bragalese witch Metila has been discovered and his wife, the empress Isbel, is told by anonymous letter. Confronted by his angry wife, Astiras realises that it is part of a plot to topple the House of Koros from the throne, and enlists Captain Vosgaris to find out who is behind it before any more damage is done. Vosgaris’ enquiries take him beyond the town of Zofela where the imperial couple are living, and closer to the heart of his enemies, and closer to deadly danger.
One of our foremost authorities on modern Afghanistan, Barnett R. Rubin has dedicated much of his career to the study of this remote mountain country. He served as a special advisor to the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke during his final mission to the region and still serves the Obama administration under Holbrookes successor, Ambassador Marc…
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