Winter's icy grasp is loosening on the world. The Emerald Queen's vanquished army has its broken back to the Bitter Sea. And treachery is its only recourse. A lackey has declared himself Lord of the defeated, amassing the still fearsome remnants of a ruthless fighting force together for one final assault on a weakened, vulnerable realm. For the warriors who remained steadfast against terrible numbers, for the courageous souls who barely survived a devastating onslaught upon their homeland, the time to rebuild and renew has not yet come. The war is not over in Midkemia. And Jimmy and Dash - two young noble brothers who stand at the center of a gathering storm - are impelled to action that could secure a tenuous peace.