The astonishing first volume in Raymond E. Feist's bestselling Serpentwar series! Ancient powers are readying themselves for a devastating confrontation, and a dark queen has raised a standard and is gathering armies of unmatched might. Into this battleground of good and evil a band of desperate men are forced whose only hope for survival is to face this ancient power and discover its true nature. Their quest is at best dangerous and at worst suicidal. Among them are some unlikely heroes - Erik, a bastard heir denied his birthright, and his friend Roo, an irrepressible scoundrel with a penchant for thievery are accompanied by the mysterious Miranda upon whom all must wager their lives. She appears to be an ally but also possess a hidden agenda and may prove to be a more deadly foe when the final confrontation is at hand!