A young lord faces off against an ingenious general in an epic fantasy that's "twisty in its political maneuverings, gritty in its battle descriptions, and rich with a sense of heroism and glory." (Publishers Weekly) Beyond the Black River, among the forests and mountains of the north, lives an ancient race of people. Their lives are measured in centuries, not decades; they revel in wilderness and resilience, and they scorn wealth and comfort. By contrast, those in the south live in the moment, their lives more fleeting. They crave wealth and power; their ambition is limitless, and their cunning unmatched. When the armies of the south flood across the Black river, the fragile peace between the two races is shattered. On a lightning-struck battlefield, the two sides will fight — for their people, for their land, for their very survival.