After the destruction of the main Malwa army in Mesopotamia and the death of Link’s avatar Great Lady Holi, Belisarius and his allies have an advantage that they have to press. The second Malwa army in the North is recalled to fight against Princess Shakuntala in south India.
Not trusting the leaders of this army, Malwa decides to hold Prince Damondara’s family, even though he is part of the Royal Family in Malwa. They have an even worse fate planned for Rana Sanga, the Rajput general. To bind him closer to Malwa, they plan to secretly have his family killed and to have him marry the new Great Lady Sati.
The eunuch Narses, his ambition fired by Belisarius telling him he will live thirty years or more, has a counterplot in the works to extract the families and have Damondara rebel. But he needs Belisarius’ bodyguards to accomplish it.
Meanwhile the army keeps up the pressure by invading the Sind and Punjab (modern-day Pakistan), aided by the worlds first steam ships. Can they keep up the pressure long enough for Narses’ treason in their favor can start?