Gen was a bard's apprentice, his nimble hands meant for the lute and his voice for a song. Then the half-mad and completely bored Shadan Khairn invaded Gen's village to winter there and start a war. He shoved a sword in Gen's hands and tormented his body, shaping a bard into a warrior to be killed for sport. As the days of torture pile up like the snow, Gen searches for death. But the day is at hand when the shattered shards of the world will knit together again, and the world's slain god will be reborn.
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The demon's attack at the betrothal spreads fear and doubt throughout the nations of Ki'hal. But Gen's courage and sacrifice make him a legend and an inspiration to the people. As the long, dangerous trip to Elde Luri Mora approaches, the Chalaine must battle her misgivings about the Ha'Ulrich and lean on her faithful Protector for the strength to do what she must to save the world.
Gen's secret is out. The caravan is in shambles. The Chalaine is wed to the Ha'Ulrich and pregnant with the Holy Child. Dangers abound, the Uyumaak threatening to overtake and destroy the Chalaine and her companions as they desperately try to escape the Shroud Lake Shard. Split from Gen, the Chalaine must find a way to work with her husband before their mutual animosity tears the prophecy apart. Meanwhile Mirelle battles Padra Athan behind the scenes to free the man she loves more than anyone.
The battle for Echo Hold begins, the Uyumaak throwing their might at the fortress. The birth of the Holy Child draws near, and the Chalaine and Padra Athan try to prop up the Ha'Ulrich's failing courage so he can face Mikkik when the time comes. Gen, still separated from the Chalaine, watches from a distance, fearing treachery, hoping he can save her from Mikkik and the incompetence of her cowardly husband.