Warning: Major SPOILERS in case you haven’t read Army of the Cursed yet.
Nineteen-year-old Lady Leila, who has been obsessed with mages, finds herself named by her aunt, the Queen of Murase, as her heiress. Against her aunt’s advice, Leila tries her luck in the mages’ trials. Though she lacks the gift, the mages accept her to exploit her extensive knowledge.
Infuriated by Leila’s persistence to join the mages, the Queen of Murase decides to strip her niece of her title. But before the Queen makes the announcement, a horde of immortal possessed warriors known as the Army of the Cursed assaults her capital. Despite her awareness of her inevitable defeat, the Queen stands her ground and dies with her soldiers. Leila narrowly escapes with Master Yesen, the High Cleric of Murase. On their way westward, where they are supposed to join her mother and her little brother among the train fleeing from the capital, Leila finds them all slaughtered. A Cursed rider intercepts Leila and Yesen, but they are saved by a last-second intervention from Zahra, a young Murasen mage whom Leila had recently met at the royal palace. The three of them decide that they must warn the most powerful kingdom in the west; the Kingdom of Bermania.
Nardine, the sixteen-year-old heiress to the Kingdom of Bermania, survives a failed assassination attempt outside her capital Paril. Her mother Queen Rona, who always has her differences with her, orders Nardine to stay behind the walls of the city until she finds out who is trying to kill her daughter. As Nardine learns that her long-gone father has been working on a weapon that will enable his soldiers to fight the immortal warriors toe-to-toe, she defies her mother’s orders and sneaks into the Redfoot, the abandoned fortress in which her father died while working with the mages on that mysterious new weapon. In the middle of her search for any clue about the weapon, two dark figures follow her in the pitch-black castle. By allowing some light into the chamber she is trapped in, Nardine accidently kills her stalkers, and then, she discovers they are severely deformed humanoids. After she collects all the documents she has found in her father’s chamber, she encounters a fully armored man who introduces himself as her father.
Nardine’s father, King Masolon, reveals that he and the Koyan mages in his court worked on developing a potion that would boost the strength of his soldiers so that they could have a fair fighting chance against the abnormally fast immortals. After a few failed trials that killed his men, Masolon stepped forward as a test subject to encourage a hundred of his soldiers to try an advanced version of the strength-boosting potion, and the experiment succeeded this time, but the price was heavy. Later, Masolon discovered that the potion, which they called The Shunri Blend, was turning them into deformed beings that could not stand the sunlight. Believing that would protect his wife and his daughter from conspirators inside and outside Bermania, Masolon decided to fake his death while he and his men would spend the remaining of their short lives hiding in the Redfoot.
Nardine promises her father that she would find a way to turn him back to his normal self. Upon her return to the royal Bermanian palace, she learns about a rebellion led by a lad who claims he is her elder half-brother.
Born and raised as a commoner in the Kingdom of Skandivia in the north, Halgrim is approached by exiled Bermanian nobles who reveal to him that he is King Masolon’s firstborn. As they swear fealty to him as the rightful king of Bermania, Halgrim decides to reclaim his father’s throne. While he marches to the capital of Bermania, half of the Bermanian states join his army.
In the north, rumors spread about the Wandering Seer who warns the Rusakians about the Army of the Cursed approaching their lands. When the news reach Frankil, the former Bermanian knight who raised Halgrim, he decides to take his band and their families, as well as his own, to the Frozen Forest, where they should be safe from the Cursed. Ben, a member of Frankil’s band and an old friend of Masolon, volunteers to hurry after Halgrim to bring him back.
Nardine and Halgrim face off at the walls of the capital. As they fail to settle their conflict peacefully, they deploy their troops on the battlefield. But in the middle of the battle, the news of the Army of the Cursed comes with the arrival of the fleeing Lady Leila of Murase and her companions. Ben catches up with Halgrim and almost persuades to join the escape to the north. But a small company of the Cursed ambushes the forces of both Nardine and Halgrim and lays waste to them, only to be saved by a band of fully-armored knights descending from the Redfoot.
And that’s when Halgrim finds out that his father is still alive, and Masolon discovers he has a son.
As Halgrim joins forces with Rona to defend Paril, the Army of the Cursed launches an assault on the city walls. Masolon stuns the immortals’ rearguard with his mutated knights, but eventually, he fights to the death to defend a breach in the wall, allowing his wife and his children to evacuate the city before it falls into the hands of the Army of the Cursed.
On board the ship sailing away from the port of Paril, Zahra mentions that she heard a veteran mage say that with Leila there could be hope. When Leila seeks further clarification, Yesen tells her that thanks to an incomplete equation she has solved, it will be possible to reverse the effects of the Shunri Blend, and consequently encourage more soldiers to take it.