The third book in Janet McGiffin's Empress Irini Series. Constantine’s father, Co-emperor Leon, dies unexpectedly, making Constantine emperor at age nine with Irini as Regent. Abbess Thekla’s loyalty to Irini shifts to Constantine as she watches Irini block his authority and keep the power herself. Irini makes Constantine wed the disliked Maria, prevents the Senate from naming him emperor in his own right at age 18, and imprisons him when he tries to stop her henchmen from amassing wealth and power. Constantine’s army friends free him, arrest her, and raise him to the throne. Resourceful as ever, Irini will not be thwarted. Can Thekla prevent them from murdering each other?