In the mountains of Midkemia,
a boy came brutally of age in blood and
in terror. And now he lives for one
purpose alone ... revenge!
An exceptionally skilled swordsman, youngTal Hawkins was the only survivor of the massacre of his village -- rescued, recruited, and trained by the mysterious order of magicians and spies, the Conclave of Shadows. Now one of the secret society's mostvaluable agents, he gains entrance into the court of Duke Olasko, the bloodthirsty and powerful despot whose armies put Tal's village to the sword, by posing as a nobleman from the distant Kingdom of the Isles. But the enemy is cunning and well protected -- in league with the foul necromancer Leso Varen, dark master of death-magic -- and to gain the Duke's trust and confidence, Tal Hawkins must first sell his soul.