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The Desert and the Blade is the twelfth book in the Emberverse series. It was released on September 1, 2015. The action begins in July of Change Year 46 (2044 AD) immediately after the The Golden Princess.


Órlaith, Crown Princess of Montival, and her followers are helping Reiko, Empress of Japan, and her band of loyal samurai recover the "Grass Cutting Sword", one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan. The sword is being kept in a "castle" somewhere in California, which was devastated and depopulated by the Change, except for a few Montival colonies, some tiny survivor communities and several tribes of Eaters (cannibalistic offspring of the few people who survived the loss of modern technology in 1998 by feasting on the only remaining source of readily available meat: humans).

Their quest is not an easy one as they are hounded by Haida pirates and Korean warriors, who are ruled by the grandson of Kim Jong-il and want to stop the Japanese from recovering the sword. On the way, the questors will battle armies of Eaters, be aided by Saxon warriors, meet Jewish desert nomads and come upon a community of aging hippies who worry about how the modern world will change their way of life. [1]