A fantasy novel. The kingdoms of the east have all but forgotten the old magic. Science has replaced the wizards; muskets and cannons have replaced the swords and armor of the old knights. But across the mountains, Atark, a shaman of their ancient enemy, the nomadic Kaifeng, has rediscovered the old magic and, thirsting for revenge for his murdered family, he unleashes it in a new war of conquest. As city after city falls to the invader, Matt, a young soldier, and Jarren, a reluctant scholar, desperately search for an answer to this seemingly unstoppable weapon. Meanwhile, Kareen and Thelena, two young women from different cultures, are thrown together by fate—and find that in a world drenched in blood, the only thing they can count on is each other.