Book I of The Crowthistle Chronicles. Jarred leaves the sun-scorched desert village of his birth and sets out with a band of friends to explore the world and find out the truth about his father, who came to the village a stranger and departed when Jarred was ten, never to return. But he left Jarred a powerful gift – an amulet that would protect him from all harm, and extracted from his son a promise to wear it evermore. Jarred has kept his promise, although he has come to recognise its mixed blessings. After the travellers are attacked, they shelter in the cool greenness and beauty of the Marsh. Here Jarred meets Lilith and he realises his life will never be the same. But neither realises how closely their fates and the past are linked. During a visit to Cathair Rua, the Red City, Jarred stumbles across the secret of the Iron Tree and with it unbearable truth of his father’s identity. Cover art by Julek Heller.