Calanthe "Cala" Megalos is the captain of the Royal Guard in the Skayton Empire. She's the first commoner to take that rank, and all judgemental eyes are on her, waiting for her to mess up in some way. Their chance to prove her unfit for the job comes when she mistakenly arrests the wrong suspect in an assassination case. She is removed from her position and from the Royal Guard, but she strikes a deal with the Empress of Skayton. She must catch the real assassin and at least four of their treasonous compatriots within one year to win back her job.
In the midst of all this, Cala begins to date an unassuming Lusatian librarian who just might be able to help her win back her job despite it being clear that he isn't who he claims to be. The question is, does she want her job back? With the judging eyes off of her and her new boyfriend by her side, she isn't so sure she does. Could she find a new ambition and be happy again but without the stress of her former position?