Aisling of Bruadair has lived a provincial life, heedless of the evil creeping over her land. That ordinary existence changes forever, though, when she is sent to the opposite end of the world to find a master swordsman. If she fails, her life--and her country's safety--will be forfeit. She just never expected that swordsman to be a wounded elven prince masquerading as a simple soldier.
Powerless and scarred from a long-ago conflict, Rùnach of Ceangail has spent years in obscurity, ignoing battles he can no longer fight. And although he has been drawn back into the world, he fully intends to live an unremarkable life far away from events he knows he cannot change...
Until Rùnach meets Aisling and realizes that she is far more than what she seems, that their alliance has attracted unwelcome notice, and that some battles must be fought.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
Sarah of Doìre knows the pattern of spells is no accident. With each page, each powerful rune, she and Ruith are being led somewhere, to someone-but by whom, she cannot tell. Sarah's gift of sight only allows her to see the spells themselves, not the person behind them.
A reluctant sorcerer still learning to trust his own magic, Ruithneadh of Ceangail knows he's woefully unprepared for the adversaries they'll face. But he and Sarah must collect and destroy his father Gair's spells soon. Many mages seek their power, and in the wrong hands, Gair's magic would plunge the Nine Kingdoms into an eternity of darkness.
But as they pursue the final spells-acquiring strange companions, welcome allies, and unexpected foes along the way-Sarah and Ruith realize that their true quest has only just begun. The real enemy is closer, darker, and more power hungry than they ever imagined; and until he is defeated, the fate of the Nine Kingdoms hangs in dire peril.