Ash Valerian is the youngest member and heir apparent to House Valerius, a family that traces its origins back to the heydays of the Roman Empire. Since then, the family has spread; creating other off-shoot Houses, each gaining wealth and influence in the areas they’ve chosen to settle. But their existence is a fragile one; the family of Valerius and their descendants are the reason people have been frightened by tales of vampires and werewolves down through the centuries and every day they have to protect themselves from outsiders discovering the truth.

Ash faces two problems which threaten House Valerius’ stability; the Winter Solstice is approaching, bringing with it the possibility that the current Lord of House Valerius, Ash’s father, will be challenged for his position as head of all the Houses. It is a duel that can only end with the victor claiming the role of Patriarch and the loser dead. But Lord Valerian is already distracted; someone seems to have discovered the family’s existence and is taking steps to eliminate them and their Houses.

The members of House Valerius are drawn deeper and deeper into a mystery as their unknown enemy steps up their private war and members of the other Houses strive to turn the situation to their own advantage. Beset by enemies on all sides; Ash, and House Valerius itself, find themselves fighting for their very survival.

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