In the sandy heart of the Curahshena desert, the execution of the Blood Marsh Prince is imminent. As time runs short, Jeina, an escaped mine worker, must wrack her brain for a way to save the Prince. Her only chance of success lies in trusting a man she barely knows, an outcast whose mind is plagued by the spectre of an ancient warlord.
Meanwhile, after the sudden devastation of its greatest city, the Blood Marsh Empire is paralyzed by fear an uncertainty. Without any hope of help from the disorganized Marshland armies, a disgraced potentate and a political prisoner form the “Oaken Few” — a small band of men and women dedicated to helping survivors escape the clutches of the vile creatures which now roam the Capital. Content, for the time being, to operate from their hidden refuge in the forest, a dire missive from a trapped noble forces the Few to alter their tactics and to plunge back into a city from which any sane man would flee.