The Party of the Seven are meeting this year for the Royal Jubilee, celebrating 1200 years of Rule by the same family. Alliandre Del Nileppez Drol Hulloc has come to compete in the Grand Melee, as the King will bestow knighthood on the winner. Alliandre’s only goal in life has been to become knighted so he can marry his love, Marion the Virtuous, Princes of the Southern Kingdom. But will his temper get in the way?
There is another, Sir Rodney the Magnificent, who would make sure Alliandre loses, hoping to perhaps court the lovely Marion himself. Politics force Marion to make Alliandre promise not to harm Sir Rodney during Jubilee. This promise causes stress in his relationship with Marion, perhaps creating an intractable wedge between them.
Meanwhile, Braxlo and Lolark struggle with Alliandre’s expanding skills and talents, while age diminishes theirs. As they come to terms with the change in power dynamics, they must decide whether to guide their friend, or continue to prove themselves his betters. At the same time, Fairwind, Princess of the High Aelf and an accomplished mage, finds herself in the surprising position of being courted.
Marion has her own stresses, as she becomes a Jubilee “Princess”, which takes more time from her schedule than she imagined. The additional events also keep Marion from her other responsibilities. Given the forces working against them, it is time Marion would like to spend with Alliandre, even though her new “Prince” is a charming and chivalrous diversion. And a baron’s son to boot.
At the Wyvern’s Aerie, Arielle the Beautiful, deposed queen of the Southern Kingdom, plans the reconquest of her home. Having raised Sivle and Alliandre, she welcomes them and their friends. With her trusted barkeep, Sir Andras, and her loyal kitchen staff, she takes good care of the group as her newest employee, Vanessa, gets accustomed to the life of a tavern server. The conflict between Alliandre and Sir Rodney involves all of them, and they do what they can to prevent it ending in death, and a blood feud that could split the kingdom.
Alliandre’s best friend, Sivle Si Evila Drol Revo, a half-aelf former priest and current mage, seeks to impress the Mage’s Council with a new war-mage spell. But the council has a distaste for war-mage spells, preferring nurturing and harvest spells instead. Sivle must concentrate on perfecting his spell and preparing his scrolls. Unfortunately, they meet Ariandel, a Silver Aelf mage, on the Road to Foresight who Sivle finds distracting. Sivle is humiliated but shows an ability which is frowned upon.
Ariandel seeks only to become a great mage and participate in the comórtas pósta, to select the bride of the next Great Aelf King. Just beginning her adult life, she questions the stories of her new friends. Her doubt slowly changes to admiration as she sees her scorn and belittlement responded to with friendship and acceptance. Fairwind agrees to train her, enlisting Sivle to assist, further distracting him. Ariandel recognizes his skill too late, gloating over his humiliation, ruining her chance to be trained further by him.
When the day of the Grand Melee finally comes, Alliandre meets Sir Rodney in combat. Spitefully, Sir Rodney insults the honor of Marion, and Alliandre’s temper overcomes him. Not only does he defeat Sir Rodney, but he also holds the knight’s life in his hands. While the crowd looks on, Alliandre’s sword descends on the unprotected neck of his rival.
Find out what happens when “The Knights’ Trials” comes out later this year.