Salli is an avalanche soldier. As a member of the elite paramilitary force she is responsible for prtecting the religious shrines scattered throughout the mountainous silderness regions of the troubled state of Shadene. As a devout member of the Orhodox Dreaming she freely accepts the faith that life is a dream, and that true believers will one day be awakened by the coming Messiah. But there is another faith on Shadene that preaches heresy - and its existence has sparked horrific acts of terrorism and civil unrest. And suddenly Salli's life has been ripped in two.
Her brother - vanished under a cloud of suspicion - is believed to have embraced the false religion. As a soldier sworn to safeguard Orthodox interests, Salli must track him down and return him to the fold. But as a disciple of the one true Messiah, she must confront the crisis that now assaults her conscience and her creed. For there is a woman in the enemy enclave who inspires fervent devotion - a personage of great power who impossibly, yet undeniably, shows signs of being the prophesied One.