Eight hundred years have passed since King Connavar of the Rigante and his bastard son,Bane,defeated the invading army of Stone. In that time, Connavar has become a legend, and the Rigante have lost the freedom so many gave their lives to preserve. A conquered people, they live and die under the iron rule of the Varlish, their culture all but destroyed. One woman remains who follows the ancient paths once trod by the Rigante. She is the Wyrd of Wishing Tree Wood, and she alone knows the nature of the evil soon to be unleashed on a doomed and unsuspecting world. In a perilous land, facing an uncertain destiny, she pins her initial hopes on two men: Jaim Grymauch, the giant Rigante fighter, a man haunted by his failure to save the friend he loved from betrayal, and Kaelin Ring, a youth whose deadly talents will earn him the enmity of all Varlish. One will become the Ravenheart, an outlaw leader whose daring exploits will inspire the Rigante. The other will forge a legend and light the fires of rebellion. The Wyrd knows that ultimately all hopes will rest on a third man. Of the bloodline of Connavar the King, he will need to overcome generations of fear and hatred if he is to achieve his destiny. For he is a Varlish nobleman, and - worse - the son of the Rigante's greatest enemy . . .