From the introduction:
King Pariden has betrayed and enraged the Emperor. As punishment, His Imperial Majesty calls upon his Kairomancer, the Snow Mage, to bring an unending winter storm upon the offender’s kingdom and castle. Crops are destroyed, livestock frozen, and the King’s subjects fled to warmer lands. The King’s castle sits at the center of the blizzard: cold winds howl, snow drifting twenty feet high against the stone walls, the bailey filled two men deep with snow and ice, now completely impassible.
The King has set out to travel to the Emperor’s palace to treat with him, to try to make amends, setting things right between them and ending this icy siege upon his lands. Many of the castle’s inhabitants have died in the cold, and only a handful remain huddled in the castle’s Ivory Keep. The Queen now presides over this dark winter court, lit by the few candles remaining in the castle. Can the King soothe the Emperor’s anger before darkness overtakes the last of his kingdom, or will the Queen’s court tear itself apart before his return?