Return to Urte, a land in chaos, where the smallest choice may save or damn the world.
The Moontide has come, and a scarlet tide of Rondian legions is flooding into the East, slaughtering and pillaging in the name of Emperor Constant. But the Scytale of Corineus, the source of ultimate magical power, has slipped through the emperor's fingers. His ruthless inquisitors are desperately seeking the artefact, before it falls into the hands of those who would bring him down.
But there are some who have pledged to end the cycle of war and restore peace to Urte. They are the unlikeliest of heroes: a failed mage, a gypsy and a lowly market-girl.
As East and West clash more violently than ever before, the people of Urte will discover that love, loyalty and truth can be forged into weapons as deadly as swords and magic.
The second volume in Hair's Moontide Quartet (after Mage's Blood) is mostly dizzying movement, plunging headfirst into a convoluted series of plots, unraveling alliances, and tightening nooses. The great Leviathan Bridge, which was built by mage Antonin Meiros and connects the continents of Yuros and Antiopia, only rises from the roiling tides every dozen years. Now that it has appeared again, Yuros launches a savage crusade against Antiopia, using evil Inquisitors as the vanguard of its attack. Young mage Ramon Sensini is thrown into the middle of the war while executing a dangerous plan to save his family. Meiros's widow, Ramita, pregnant with twins, is rescued by his daughter, Justina, who trains her in magic that develops in sync with her pregnancy. Ramita's former flame Kazim is thrust into a plot to destroy Meiros's mage order, forced to use the soul-drinking magic that he despises. Some parts of the plot that feel slower or less tense are only the eye of the storm, and will keep Hair's fans satisfied while the storm builds.