The Captain's Blade
Jonathan's search for a shipbuilder lands him on an island kingdom in the grip of devilish wickedness. A veiled stranger claims she is a shipbuilder in a land where women are mere slaves and marriage chattel. He also meets an exotic woman mercenary who demands information but keeps her own quest a secret.
The creation of that marvelous navy of three ships costs Jonathan pain and turmoil he can hardly imagine. The shipbuilder vanishes and Jonathan is nearly killed, but the warrior woman and her six soldiers for hire rescue him and beg passage home with him. Distrust of everything in that violent land makes him refuse her.
When Jonathan sees again the beautiful mercenary his mother calls "his warrior woman," Jonathan thinks he is prepared for spiritual warfare. He has no inkling of the grip demons have on the kingdom of the South Crescentlands and the principal island of Kolt'Kutan.