Rinoa's gone public as a Sorceress and is campaigning for Timber's independence, Laguna's steering Esthar's re-emergence, Galbadia won't give up, Squall's dealing with the political fallout as Garden Commander -- and in case no one has enough on their plates, something's wrong with the Sorceress-Knight Bond. When terrorists attack Timber in the middle of Squall and Rinoa's argument over where the new Garden should go -- Timber or Esthar? -- they decide to take a break, hoping that if they can sort out the politics in their separate spheres, they can come back and sort through the quietly desperate mess of their private lives and repair their Bond.
Sorceresses still make the world nervous and Galbadia won't let Timber go; Esthar needs to come out of hiding and Garden needs to decide its place in the world. Four lives are unraveling -- but maybe, between them, they can find the answers...
There are thirteen bloodlines, sworn to protect the sorceress and the people they serve. Their origins lost in antiquity, they have been granted forms unique to each of them to help on their path.
There is forbidden magic. The reasons for why it is forbidden have been forgotten. But the sorceresses thus convicted are still imprisoned, suspended in time until death. Their prison is powered by their own magic and the very land and the thirteen bloodlines are the locks.
But the bloodlines are dying out and the locks are breaking. And one of the sorceresses is just biding her time, waiting to take her revenge on a world already torn by a third Sorceress War.