Fifteen years have passed since the devastating war between the Galt Empire and the cities of the Khaiem, in which the Khaiem's poets and their magical power known as "andat" were destroyed, leaving the women of the Khaiem and the men of Galt infertile. The emperor of the Khaiem is trying to form a marriage alliance between his son and the daughter of a Galtic lord, hoping the Khaiem men and Galtic women will produce a new generation to help create a peaceful future. But Maati, a poet who has been in hiding for years and is driven by guilt over his part in the disastrous end of the war, defies tradition and begins training female poets. With Eiah, the emperor's daughter, helping him, he intends to create andat and to restore the world to how it was before the war. As the prospect of peace dims under the lash of Vanjit's new andat, Maati and Eiah try to end her reign of terror. But time is running out for both the Galts and the Khaiem.
"Abraham shies away from the blood and swashbuckling of the previous novels, instead telling a tale of forgiveness and catharsis that concludes this complex saga with mixed notes of sadness and hope." (Publishers Weekly)
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