Since Herald Vanyel’s time, all forms of magic, except for Mind magic, ceased to exsist in Valdemar’s borders. A mage couldn’t even go into Valdemar before he was driven out because of the unseen “eyes” watching him or her. But now, magic is slowly coming back and Ancar, an evil bloodpath-mage from Hardorn knows it. Elspeth, Herald and Heir to the throne of Valdemar, must take up the task and go to seek outside help. She becomes bound to Kerowyn’s Sword Need and through Elspeth, the Sword “awakens.” and tells her story. Elspeth and Skif set off to go to Kethry and Tarma’s Mage schools that are in Tale’sedrin. We are introduced to another main character, Darkwind k’Sheyna who is a Tayledras and a Mage. These are troubled times for his clas an well because their HeartStone went rogue, killing half the mages holding a Gate open and destroying the Gate, leaving half the clan somewhere out beyond their reach. Darkwind’s father has changed and his mother was killed, so he vowed not to be a mage anymore. During this book, Elspeth’s and Darkwind’s paths meet and they decide they need to help eachother, for a dark and mysterious mage is trying to destroy the k’Sheyna Vale. It is left up to Darkwind to take up his dormant powers and train Elspeth in becoming the First Herald-Mag since Vanyel Ashkevron’s time.