Book I in The Bitterbynde Trilogy. In a world where creatures of legend haunt the lands of men, and to be caught outside after dark means almost certain death, the inhabitants of Isse Tower are amazed when a mute, starving foundling is discovered outside their gates. With no recollection of name or past, the mute soon realises that the only hope of happiness lies in distant Caermelor, where a wise woman might be able to restore the foundling's memories. To get there, Imrhien must survive a wilderness of endless danger. Lost and pursued by unhuman wights, Imrhien is saved by Thorn, a mysterious ranger. But unknown to them, a dark force summons the Unseelie, and malignant hordes amass in the night.