Matilde of House Svanaten is tainted: by her mother’s heritage, by her father’s treason, and by a coronation two years overdue.
Now, with the southern empire massing for invasion, and the Houses jockeying for position ahead of the annual conclave, there are plenty who would shed no tears over her death.
In a nation balanced on a knife’s edge, can she survive long enough to claim her inheritance?
The story of an unbreakable young woman, The Binding is a study in what defines us, what constrains us, and what sets us free.
Aestival is a time of celebration and machination, as the Turasi people mark the turning of the year and prepare to negotiate new treaties.
The unexpected arrival of Matilde’s aunt, exiled thirteen years ago, sets tensions ablaze. But before anyone can unravel the mystery of her return, a violent coup by an unknown adversary trails death and destruction in its wake.
Having only narrowly escaped the conflagration alive, Matilde is left powerless — but far from helpless.
In winning back her throne from Dieter, Matilde has swapped one leash for another.
Now she is sworn to Sidonius, the notorious slave-born general of the southern empire, who has conquered every land he’s invaded.
Worse, Dieter is far from defeated. His ousted forces launch strike after strike, sorely testing Matilde’s uncertain hold on power. Every day he remains free drives her deeper into vassalage. And the southern empire does not look kindly on vassals who try to secede.
But Matilde does not look kindly on those who would bind her to their will — and Sidonius has under-estimated her.
Warning! Contains spoilers for Shadow Queen!