After liberating Queen Byleth from the temple of the Sun Cult, Horace has ascended from slave to First Sword and confidant of the queen. He must now harness his power as a sorcerer while navigating complex political intrigue in a foreign land. Further complications arise when Alyra, former spy at court, returns. She has her own mysterious agenda, and Horace is forced to contend with this as well as his growing passion for her. Meanwhile, Jirom and his lover Emanon have joined the growing slave rebellion, rising through the ranks as they fight for the very cause Horace has been commanded to destroy. With the kingdom on the brink of war, a rash of assassinations, and orders from Queen Byleth to crush the slave rebellion at any cost, Horace is stuck between his opposition to human bondage, and his newfound duty as the protector of the realm. The remarkable second volume in The Book of the Black Earth, Storm and Steel is a searing, action packed fantasy epic.