Queen Bertal prematurely gives birth to her second child late in pregnancy on a winter walk. Though very ill, both she and the baby Prince Gudrick survive. Eilana, an ostler's daughter, has just given birth to a baby boy in disgrace, two weeks before her Maiden's Day. As the only new mother within the Castle Nisceriel, she is taken with her child into the Royal Quarters as wet nurse to the new Prince. Over the next fourteen years, unconsciously at first, then with raw ambition, Eilana establishes herself within the Royal family with the help of her elder brother. Her son Harlada is raised alongside the Prince and they become inseparable. Eilana becomes Mistress to King Gudmon and bears him a son, the bastard Prince Gudfel. Now, her ambitions change, as she sets about getting him the throne, by whatever means necessary. To succeed she will need to eliminate all those who threaten her or stand in her way, including her lovers, her friends and even her own eldest son. The King's Mistress is the first book in the Niscerien Chronicles, and is followed by The King Mother.