Young Will – soon to conclude his apprenticeship and become a ranger – joins Halt, Gilan, Horace, Evanlyn, and Svengal on a perilous mission to free their friend Erak, who has been captured by the Arridians and held for ransom.
The Skandian leader has been captured by a dangerous desert tribe. The Rangers and young Will, apprentice to the Ranger Halt, are sent to free him.
But the desert is like nothing these warriors have seen before. Strangers in a strange land, they are brutalized by sandstorms, beaten by the unrelenting heat, tricked by one tribe that plays by its own rules and surprisingly befriended by another. Like a desert mirage, nothing is as it seems. Yet one thing is constant – the bravery of the Rangers.