The Time Before is the second book of the Sacred Water series and continues the saga of Daniel and Heather's struggles against those of the Red. The story begins with the kidnapping of Daniel because of his knowledge of the black powder. Their peoples face a full-scale invasion of their lands from those of the Red who are intent on capturing the source of the Sacred Water. The Sacred Water provides the iodine needed by the people of the Forest and those of both the North and South kingdoms. Without the iodine the people would be transformed into half brains because of the hypothyroidism in a single generation. The history of the peoples and their previous encounter with those of the Red is explored.