Shadow Harold, master thief, is in over his head. When he accepted the King's commission (not that he had any choice in the matter) he did not think that it would be to retrieve a legendary artefact from Hrad Spein, the many-layered resting place of ogres, elves and wizards; a place of dread, awe and immeasurable power, sealed up for centuries. Unless Harold finds the long-lost Horn, the Nameless One will overrun the realm of Valiostr, the northernmost kingdom of Siala.
But that was just the beginning of Harold's troubles. Magically bound to the Key with which the dark elves sealed Hrad Spein, and which his enemies are determined to obtain at any cost, treachery, subterfuge and death follow Harold and his companions as they fight to reach their goal. On one side is the threat of the Nameless One; on the other, the servants of the mysterious Master.
A long-dead mage is living in Harold's head, and his dreams are haunted by terrible visions. What is the meaning of the House of Power, not to mention the House of Pain, the House of Love, and the House of Fear? Resolutely denying his destiny as the mystical Dancer in the Shadows, Harold's journey takes him to the Forest of Zagraba, 'the land where the gods had walked at the dawn of time'…
Alexey Pehov is the award-winning author of The Chronicles of Sial, a bestselling series in his native Russia. His novel Under the Sign of the Mantikor was named "Book of the Year" and "Best Fantasy Novel" in 2004 by Russia's largest fantasy magazine, World of Fantasy.