When Prince Valamon is impossibly taken from the heart of Algaris Castle, the only clue as to motive or culprit is the use of unknown sorcery.
Reclusive cleric Seris is happily tending to his book-infested temple when he finds himself recruited to the politically compromised rescue mission. His sole companion on the journey is Elhan, a cheerfully disturbed vagrant girl with terrifying combat skills and her own enigmatic reasons for seeking the prince.
Venturing into the wild, unconquered lands, Seris has no fighting prowess, no survival skills, and no charisma, as Elhan keeps pointing out. Armed only with a stubborn streak and creative diplomacy, he must find a way to survive outlaw towns, enchanted tropical isles, and incendiary masquerades, all without breaking his vow to do no harm.
Chasing rumours of rising warlords and the return of the vanished sorcerers, Seris and Elhan soon discover a web of treachery and long-buried secrets that go far beyond a kidnapped prince.
As enemies rise from beyond the empire and within it, Seris and Elhan realise that the key to saving Valamon and averting a war may lie in their own bloody pasts, and the fate of their fragile friendship.
"An original, fast paced and fascinating tale that kept me riveted from start to finish."
"The characterization of all the main players here is meaty, visceral, and intelligent. Every one of them, from Valamon to the being who snatched him, has an agenda, and no two are alike. No one’s actions feel awkward or out of place; the pacing is like a roller-coaster ride; and the settings are imbued with meaning that’s subtly placed. The overall effect is a fantasy-thriller read that is intense, dark, inventive, and delicious."
"A fast paced epic fantasy tale that manages to portray a number of genre tropes in a fresh and exciting way... The story delivers a tale of adventure and mayhem, played out by characters that are dynamic and varied, ensuring that the reader never gets bored... A good read whether you’re a fantasy fan or not."