This is the second novel Mercedes Lackey published about the mercenary pair, Tarma and Kethry. In the beginning… Warrl complains that Tarma even thinks in clichés. The trio has joined a mercenary company called the Sunhawks, lead by Captain Idra former royal princess of Rethwellan. They’ve joined up for two reasons. Bard Leslac (that damned warbler as Tarma puts it) has composed many songs about them emphasizing and reemphasizing that they help women in distress. This is costing them serious money on account of jobs Need makes them take when the women can’t pay. Joining the company takes them out of that line of work. The other reason is to get them exposure to royals and other high nobility, so that they can get land and students for the schools they hope to open.
The story goes on from there with a couple of chapters introducing the major characters. Then the action starts. Captain Idra is missing and Sewen, her second in command, wants Tarma and Kethry to go to Rethwellan and find out what happened. Idra went to Rethwellan on account of needing to cast a vote to decide the line of succession. She did, then the last letter she sends hints that something serious complicated the issue and she needs to deal with it. Tarma, Kethry, and Warrl go to Rethwellan and begin their investigations. Along the way they pick up Stefan, the other heir to the throne, and decide they need to overthrow the King of Rethwellan, Raschar. When they find out that Raschar killed Idra, his sister, they bring in 600 Hawks and former Hawks to capture and kill him.
This is a good book. A real novel, unlike all the other tales of Tarma and Kethry, with plenty of action.