The Free are the most feared mercenary company the world has ever known. For years they've sold their martial and magical skills to the highest bidder, winning countless victories that have overthrown kings and shaken empires.
Yulan is a newcomer to their ranks, keen to prove himself worthy of the Free's name. When corsair marauders threaten several fishing villages, Yulan gets his chance.
It sounds like a simple mission: travel to the corsairs' island fortress, persuade their self-proclaimed king to sign a peace treaty, then head home with sword unbloodied.
Yet blades speak louder than words, and soon Yulan finds himself fighting not for the glory of the Free, but for his very survival.
Brian Ruckley lives in Edinburgh. He is the author of the Godless World trilogy.