This stunning book opens 12 years after the end of The Cup of the World and tells the story of Ambrose, son of Phaedra and last in the king's line, who is living exiled with his mother in the dilapidated manor of Tarceny. Ambrose's life is threatened by the hooded priest of the Undercraft, an ancestral spirit of pure evil who must end Ambrose's life in order to survive himself. And even when Ambrose is hidden within the house of the Widow of Develin, a hallowed place of learning and haven of education, the priest and his minions slowly and subtly infiltrate within, subverting the minds of those most educated and powerful and leaving Ambrose in mortal danger.
Author John Dickinson's debut novel is a welcome addition to the flourishing genre of medieval fantasy. Phaedra, a young noble, has reached the age of marriage, and is waiting for the man who appears in her dreams. When he finally arrives, she leaves her home and family to join him. But Phaedra is unprepared for the consequences her new union brings. "Dark and intelligent-for the sophisticated fantasy reader."-Kirkus Reviews