Sethra Lavode : The oldest person in the Dragaeran Empire. A military genius and master of sorcery whose story stretches back to before the dawn of history. Now, after a long absence, the undead Sethra Lavode, the Enchantress of Dzur Mountain, has reentered the Empire's affairs. And the affairs of Khaavren and Pel, Tazendra and Aerich, and all their descendants, colleagues, and friends.For since Adron's Disaster, when Dragaera City was turned instantly into a sea of amorphia, the Empire has been in ruins. Trade has declined, brigands rule the roads, plagues sweep through the population. Now an ambitious Dragonlord means to rebuild the Empire in his own name. But unknown to him, the true heir, the Phoenix Zerika, has already retrieved the Imperial Orb from the Paths of the Dead. Sethra Lavode means to see Zerika on the throne. To do so will entail a climactic battle of sorcery and arms, told with all the swashbuckling flair for which Steven Brust is known.