The Estate belongs to the Lady Dreanna and Gath leads the men who make up the Defenders who protect her and her goods from all who might seek to rob her.
These Defenders are men who have come from many lands to serve her because she promises them anonymity and safety from the lives they sought to leave behind them - for whatever reason. Those reasons are many and some are revealed as the influence of the man, Gath, is felt by them.
There are others there, however, who did not come of their own free will; these are men - and women - who have been snatched from their safe and civilised lives into another, and more brutal world, where they will learn, painfully, that there is no way back to that other life and that they must resign themselves to it because they have no choice - and in time they forget what was. Gath is called to serve in the Prince’s Guard and when he has to leave, against his will, there are scenes of great grief as he rides away for he was adored by the men on the Estate as he had been when he served the Grand Duke. With him go his servants and close friends, Oda and Zar, and others will follow.
Mayes Reynolds, born in 1934 at the height of the Depression to parents in poor circumstances, started writing when she took an early ill-health retirement from the Civil service after having been widowed some years before. Her three sons had left home either having married or found their own places, and being of a retiring disposition she seized upon a casual suggestion by a chance met acquaintance that she ought to write a book. She began almost at once without any thought other than rediscovering the pleasure of putting pen to paper that she had always found during her time at Grammar School and later when she went to evening classes at the Middlesex Polytechnic, as it was then, and obtained a BSc (Hons).