Book II of The Hythrun Chronicles. It is eight years since Marla Wolfblade buried her second husband. In that time she has become the power behind Hythria’s throne. But Alija, High Arrion of the Sorcerers’ Collective, plots her downfall and the destruction of the Wolfblade line. Marla’s fortune may not now protect her and her son, Damin, growing up in far-off Krakander. Damin’s uncle Mahkas is convinced that his only daughter is to marry Damin, an obsession that leads to tragic and unexpected results. Meanwhile, Elezar the Fool must face his own crisis and his infamous Rules of Gaining and Wielding Power are of no use to him when his brother gets involved.