|| War rages in Midkemia once again, and behind the chaos, disquieting evidence points to dark elements at work. As enemies march across the realm wreaking destruction, its brave and loyal defenders battle to survive, a struggle made more perilous now that Jim Dasher's trusted intelligence network has been cleverly dismantled. Region by region, Midkemia is being ripped apart, and the loyal spy and his allies find themselves overpowered at every turn. Signs of the kingdom's impending doom surround them. King Gregory of the Isles has yet to produce an heir. Roldem and Rillanon have each been plagued by palace coups that threaten to topple their thrones. Lord Hal of Crydee and his great friend Ty Hawkins, champion swordsman of the Masters' Court, have been entrusted with smuggling Princess Stephane and her lady-in-waiting, the lovely and perplexing Lady Gabriella, out of Roldem to safety. But the rising danger has made finding refuge treacherous. Nowhere is safe, including Ylith, Midkemia's strategic bastion, where Hal's younger brothers Martin and Brendan hold off an onslaught of brutal Keshian Dog Soldiers and a mysterious force from beneath the sea. Yet courage alone is not enough to withstand the continued enemy assault. Without reinforcements, hope of success fades. Martin, Brendan, and their compatriots know that while losing Crydee, the legendary city on the kingdom's edge, would be devastating, the realm can still be saved. But if Ylith falls, all is lost.