Audrun, Davyn, and their four children have fled their war-scourged homeland, joining a karavan headed toward a haven of peace where diviners have said their fifth child - the one Audrun now carries - must be born. But now, desperate to reach safety before the child comes, they have chosen to break off from the karavan and take a dangerous route too near the sentient hell called Alisanos. They have barely begun their perilous journey when - with screaming winds, buckling earth, and burning rain - the deepwood overtakes them, separating and scattering this fragile human family, taking all but Audrun's husband, Davyn, into itself. Her family lost, left in a terrifying landscape with only Rhuan, the karavan guide, Audrun births her baby four months too soon…and yet, freakishly, full term. For Alisanos has already claimed her and her newborn baby for itself. And Rhuan, her mysterious companion, reveals that he is not in fact Shoia, but something far stranger - a creature of the deepwood, a dioscuri - the child of an Alisani god and a human woman.
Protected only by a being only half human, and with the deepwood already affecting her and her newborn child, can Audrun find her lost family and retain her humanity in the midst of Alisanos' capricious terrors?
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