When warlord Kerdred brutally murders her mother and kidnaps Shade to be his wife, she vows revenge. By the time she manages to escape, she is heavily pregnant with his child. She hides in the Great Forest of Pandean, where she gives birth, helped by her grandmother, Rona and Gadolin, a Tree Guardian. 13 years later in Landra, young prince, Hylaw comes of age and inherits as his father dies. His sister, Ami, is furious that her brother plans to betrothe her to Kerdred or his brother to form an alliance as the warlord continues to conquer all in his path. She is sent to Brinkton to be with her Uncle Darius, but Kerdred's forces overcome the town. Shade has been living in a nearby village. As news of approaching war arrives the villages prepare to leave, but Shade stays with those to young, too old or too sick to travel and disguises herself as she plans her revenge. What will Shade do next? Will Ami escape? This fast-paced fantasy novel is filled with colourful characters, human and not-so human.The action never lets up as Kerdred's enemies unite to defeat him.