Three acclaimed, bestselling authors -- three extraordinary fantasists -- unite talent and vision to create a noble dynasty and a remarkable realm of spirit and substance.The House of the Tiger has skillfully ruled Merina in times of peace. But now the indomitable armies of the Emperor Balthasar stand poised to crush the vulnerable city/state. And in the enemy's midst is the gray mage Apolon -- foul necromancer who serves the Dreadful Dark . . . and whose mission it is to satsfy his Master's terrible hungers with living souls, the Heart of a Goddess, and the blood of a Princess.For Adele, aging Dowager Queen; for ruling Queen Lydana; and for Princess Shelyra, lithe, impetuous, ingenious Designated Daughter, the battle seems hopeless -- for they possess no defense, save for their wiles and weapons of the spirit. But the Tiger is a cunning beast, not to be underestimated. And when corered, she bares her teeth . . . and strikes.