The Shadows are real. They are in hiding, but they are out there. The Ix'a Elders have trained scouts for centuries to eliminate enemies of the Light and now, the new generation of Ix'a students have accepted the Rite, including Lider York, who has accepted it early--too early. There are rumors that he is something more than just an orphan boy--something dangerous--and, when the Elders begin threatening him in the Tests, he begins to believe it himself. Kingdom Flare is sick. A maddening disease has spread and, even worse, it has taken control of the King. At the edge of town, a girl in the brothel possesses extraordinary gifts, but she is not happy. She aches to leave. One day she will find the courage to do just that and, when she does, she vows that the Great Range will finally know her name. Everyone will know the name of Tae Jean.
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