When Garron of Kersey returns home from the king's service to claim his title as Baron Wareham, he's shocked to find Wareham Castle very nearly destroyed by a man called the Black Demon.
According to the last starving servants inside the castle walls, the Black Demon was looking for silver belonging to Garron's brother Arthur. Among his remaining servants is the enigmatic Merry, the bastard child of the castle's priest. Garron quickly suspects that she is much more than a servant: She reads and writes and makes lists, just as he does. They work together to bring Wareham back to its former splendor.
But this is only the beginning. Did Arthur have a cache of silver? Who is the Black Demon? And the biggest question of all: Who is Merry?