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Waking in Anaskar Prison, covered in blood and accused of murder, nobody will listen to Notch's claims of innocence until he meets the future Protector of the Monarchy, Sofia Falco.
But Sofia has her own burdens. The first female Protector in a hundred years, her House is under threat from enemies within, the prince has made it clear he does not want her services and worst of all, she cannot communicate with her father's sentient mask of bone, the centuries-old Argeon. Without the bone mask she cannot help anyone -- not herself, and certainly not a mercenary with no powerful House to protect him...