Author: Mercedes Lackey
Original language: English
It has been four years since the orphan boy Darian sought sanctuary with the mysterious Tayledras Hawkbrothers when his village was sacked and burned by barbarians.
Born a Valdemarian, but now steeped in the mystical ways of the Tayledras, it has become Darian’s dream to be their emissary-forgind an alliance and providing a diplomatic link with his own people.
Back in Errold’s Grove, a young woman, Keisha Alder, has taken over the job formerly held by Darian’s old teacher, Wizard Justyn. With no formal education, working with only the natural instincts of her inborn Healing Gift, she has devoted herself to the care of the people of her now bustling community. Yet with the heightened empathy of her Gift, and the inability to sheild herself because of her lack of training, it is becoming harder and harder for Keisha to bear the strains of everyday life.
But when Darian returns to Errold’s Grove with a small contigent of Hawkbrothers to warn the townsfolk that another tribe of barbarians is approaching their village and advise them to evacuate their homes, Keisha refuses to flee. As a Healer she knows she will be needed if there is bloodshed, and her Gift dictates that she stay, even if it puts her life in jeopardy. Yet how can one small band of Hawkbrothers and two Valdemaran teenagers with partially trained Gifts stand against the destructive might of a barbarian horde?