In the mountains of Midkemia,
a boy came brutally of age in blood and
in terror. And now he lives for one
purpose alone ... revenge!
An exceptionally skilled swordsman, youngTal Hawkins was the only survivor of the massacre of his village -- rescued, recruited, and trained by the mysterious order of magicians and spies, the Conclave of Shadows. Now one of the secret society's mostvaluable agents, he gains entrance into the court of Duke Olasko, the bloodthirsty and powerful despot whose armies put Tal's village to the sword, by posing as a nobleman from the distant Kingdom of the Isles. But the enemy is cunning and well protected -- in league with the foul necromancer Leso Varen, dark master of death-magic -- and to gain the Duke's trust and confidence, Tal Hawkins must first sell his soul.
After destroying the vicious mercenary Raven and partially avenging his people wiped out in 2003's Talon of the Hawk, Tal Hawkins, last of the Orosini, sets his sights on the person who ordered the massacre, Kaspar, Duke of Olasko, in bestseller Feist's latest stirring fantasy. But to get close enough to Kaspar to exact his revenge, he must first win the duke's confidence and accomplishing that may cost Tal his soul. Devoted fans will welcome the author's focus on Roldem and the Eastern Kingdoms, lands that barely figure in earlier books set in Midkemia. The unstable political landscape of the Eastern Kingdoms provides fertile ground for intrigues the like of which have not been seen in the Kingdom of the Isles. Despite his internal conflicts, Tal, an archetypal swashbuckling hero who's unbeatable with a sword, a brilliant tactician and handsome enough to make the ladies swoon, ranks among the least interesting of the characters who populate this part of Midkemia. Far more complex are the supporting cast, chief among them Petro Amafi, a former assassin and Tal's retainer; Quint Havrevulen, Kaspar's Special Captain who took part in the raid on the Orosini; and Kaspar himself all of whom assume unusual depth as the plot progresses. The novel's relentless pace and explosive climactic battle will ensure another crowd-pleaser for Feist to add to his already impressive resume.