Minalan the Spellmonger has come a long way since he woke up to a goblin invasion almost a decade ago. Since then, he has built cities and mighty armies, invented new enchantments, and pioneered entirely new fields of magic. Now that the Witch Queen of Darkfaller has taken over one of the most powerful castles in the center of the kingdom, he has to marshal all his resources—political, military, and arcane—to try to drive her from the strategic and symbolically important stronghold. It will be the most difficult military operation the Spellmonger has ever attempted—and he cannot fail. The future of the kingdom and all of humanity may well depend on his victory.
To complicate matters, the King and Queen have asked him to do the impossible: take their son and heir to the throne, Prince Tavard, and try to tutor him in statecraft, wisdom, and perhaps some common sense. As Tavard has always hated Minalan and seen him as a threat, this proves to be a challenge even the Spellmonger shies away from. He makes a counter-proposal to not just tutor Tavard but also his three closest rivals to the throne at the same time.
That is not all. Matters with the Sea Folk are coming to a head, Minalan is still trying to recreate the incredible snowstone spell, the gods seem to be conspiring against him, the refugees from the far north are arriving, and the civil war he started in neighboring Merwyn is beginning to stall. And his wife is having a baby—three weeks early.
Years of political intrigue and military preparation come to a head as Minalan embraces his role as Preceptor, the maker of rules for all the complex games of politics and war he is playing. Enjoying power no wizard has had since the Archmage, Minalan has taken responsibility for ordering the kingdom, armies, wizards, and the very gods themselves with his powers, both mundane and arcane. He has learned that those who have the power to make the rules must also bear responsibility for how they are followed. There is no higher call to duty for a wizard who dares to be… a Preceptor!