Sister Alessia swore to take no part in the dynastic struggle raging across two kingdoms. But when a warlord slaughters her patients and forbids her temple hospital to care for victims from the wrong side, she throws off her bloodstained habit and quits the cloister rather than submit.
Determined to save lives, Alessia unwittingly attracts brutalized peasants, smugglers and deserters fleeing the conflict. But many of them crave vengeance. Naming their band the Heron Kings, the lowborn guerrillas launch raids against the forces of both sides. Alessia struggles to temper their fury as well as tend wounds, consenting to ever greater violence to keep her new charges safe. Alarmed, both warring noble factions unleash spies, mercenaries and mass crucifixions to exterminate the insurgents.
But when they uncover a conspiracy prolonging the bloodshed, Alessia will risk the lives she’s saved on a last shot at survival: to present proof of the plot to the very forces hunting them and convince all sides to bring the war to an end.