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British Science Fiction Association: Best Novel nominee (2006).
In the far-distant future Vali Hallsdottir, assassin of an organisation known as the Skald, is sent on a mission to the world of Nhem. Her assignment is to eliminate the destructive patriarchal regime of the Hierolath. But shortly after her arrival, Vali finds herself betrayed by her mission partner, who is not the man he seems. Frey, once Vali's lover, has undergone a genetic transformation to disguise himself and has his own agenda for travelling to Nhem. After Vali's escape from the clutches of the Hierolath's militia she goes in search of Frey in order to discover the reasons for his betrayal. Her journey takes Vali to Darkland, where sinister forces known as the vitki wreak havoc...