THE SPIRIT OF THE ANCIENT CHAMPION, SORAHB, WAS REBORN INTO THE BODY OF A DEGHAN YOUTH. There is not much time left on the Hrum's self-imposed limit -- only a few months. If in that time they don't take all of Farsala, then the Farsalans will regain their independence. Ceaselessly, Soraya, Kavi, and Jiaan work to keep control of what little land remains free from Hrum rule: parts of the countryside, the badlands, and the walled city of Mazad. They have many people helping them, but there is still one important piece missing: a sword that is able to withstand the Hrum's watersteel. In the end Farsala will fall if it can't win in battle. But one thing none of these young heroes can foresee is the growing desperation of the Hrum leaders. It will lead some to break their own laws and sacred pacts and will reveal truths to Kavi, Soraya, and Jiaan about the nature of war, the nature of human beings, and -- most importantly -- the nature of themselves. Hilari Bell builds the action and intrigue to a crescendo in the final installment of this critically acclaimed trilogy.