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For nine hundred years the Forelands knew peace, but unrest among the magical Qirsi people has blossomed into a conspiracy against the Eandi rulers. What started with an occasional "accidental" death of a lord has exploded into violence, rending the fabric of Forelands society. Led by a mysterious Qirsi "Weaver" with powers that can reach into the minds of others even in their sleep, the rebellion is now turning Qirsi against Qirsi, as it weakens alliances among the Eandi.

Some Qirsi ministers are torn between plotting to overthrow the Eandi and staying loyal to their lords; others have been ready for a rebellion for a long time and are active in the burgeoning and increasingly violent rebellion. Even some Qirsi who oppose the rebellion are forced to take sides against their lords, while an Eandi lord in league with the conspiracy prepares for war against rival houses.

Yet as the world tilts toward terrible upheaval, some stand firm against the chaos. Grinsa, a Qirsi gleaner, is trying to head off the war he knows would spell disaster for his own people as well as the Eandi. Traveling with Lord Tavis of Curgh as the young noble seeks revenge on the assassin who killed his betrothed and thus set the chaos in motion, Grinsa may be the only person who can stop the Weaver from shattering the long peace. But even Grinsa can't do it alone. His sister, Keziah, archminister to King Kearney, himself a staunch advocate of peace, works to prevent war, too. They may be too late, though, as realms plunge toward war, goaded by traitors within their gates.

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