Betrayed by the lord he has served since boyhood, Jacek Dąbrowski, captain of winged hussars, has just been exiled to a remote fortress along the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’s southeastern border—a dangerous no man’s land where reviled Tatar raiders constantly hunt for fresh slaves to satisfy the Ottoman Empire’s insatiable appetites.
But Jacek’s lord, Eryk Krezowski of Biaska, has taken far more—he has also taken Jacek’s only love, Oliwia, for himself. Determined to forget Oliwia and Eryk, Jacek grinds out a new life in the war zone that is now his home. When tragedy strikes and he is called back, he cannot refuse and must once again confront those who have betrayed him.
Once a Russian peasant, Lady Oliwia Krezowska has risen to a lofty perch she never sought. The reluctant lady of a vast estate, Oliwia has everything a woman could want—except Jacek, the only man she’s ever loved. Even if she weren’t bound to Eryk by marriage, she has no hope of recapturing Jacek’s heart—his bitter hatred toward her is an impenetrable wall.
Upon Jacek’s return to Biaska, secrets are revealed and he realizes much of what he once believed is wrong. He embarks upon yet another mission with newfound purpose, only to be confronted by an enemy he never saw coming. Just as one dream is realized, another is shattered. Jacek’s fortitude will be tested again and again as he endures battles no man should in an effort to reclaim his life and his love.
Meanwhile, a different foe, one who was but a shadow of a threat before, continues to grow, becoming more powerful every day. That enemy’s sole quest is to destroy Biaska, including Oliwia and everyone she loves.
Though worlds apart, Jacek and Oliwia are in the battles of their lives—for their lives—from which neither may survive.