Sent home to Ireland on a secret mission for King Bridei of Fortriu, Faolan, the king's chief assassin, finds himself confronting the demons of his family's dark past. Once he has tracked down the powerful Christian cleric who may be a threat to the stability of Bridei's pagan kingdom, Faolan returns from his mission having become responsible for a child, a dog and Eile, a troubled, volatile young woman with a deeply disturbing past.
At Bridei's court in White Hill, unsettling news from the neighbouring kingdom of Circinn prompts the king to call his chieftains to council. But after the disappearance of Bridei's closest adviser and the tragic death of a young maid, the threat posed by the encroaching influence of Christianity appears to be the least of the dangers at hand...
Juliet Marillier was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, a town with strong Scottish roots. She graduated from Otago University with degrees in arts and music, and has had a varied career which includes teaching and performing music as well as working in government agencies. Juliet now lives in a hundred-year-old cottage near the river in Perth, Western Australia, where she writes full-time. She is a number of the druid order OBOD. Juliet shares her home with two dogs and a cat.