The Black Blades are the best special operations unit in the Conglomerate of Free Citizens, but none of them are free. They're iliri, a race of humanoids specifically designed to be the perfect soldiers. No one can remember where they came from, but the histories say they were made to kill - and it's what they do best.
Halfway across the continent, the Emperor of Terric wants to exterminate their entire species. At least that's the excuse he's using to conquer every country between Terric and the Conglomerate, and he's handing out iliri heads as trophies to prove he's serious.
But now, their secret is out. The world knows the Black Blades aren't human. They're so good because of their alien ancestry, because of what humans made them to be! The only problem? It's starting to look like their own side agrees with the enemy. To keep their unit from being disbanded and sent back into slavery, they have to stop the Emperor's bribe. Eight of them aren't enough. Their only hope is to rely upon the humans they've learned not to trust, but things are never black and white.