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THe Hosue War is the story of the battle for control of the most powerful of the ruling Houses in the Essalieyan Empire -- House Terafin. But it is also the tale of Jewel Markess. 

Rescued from her precarious existence as an orphan in the slums of the capital city, Averalaan, by Rath -- a recluse whose family is powerful within House Terafin -- Jewel is gathering together children less fortunate than herself, creating her own den.

But now times are truly desperate within Averalaan's hundred holdings. Street children are disappearing, theft and violence are increasing, and even Jewel's den is finding it hard to make ends meet.

They've been living on their own for some time, but Rath is still their mentor and continues to sell items they find in the ancient undercity hidden beneath the streets of Averalaan. Then suddenly, Rath orders them to avoid the undercity. 

Yet Rath himself refuses to heed the warnings of Jewel's seer dreams. Instead, he allies with the mages of the Order of Knowledge in a secret war against demonic foes, knowing he'll be targeted for death -- or worse. In a last attempt to protect Jewel and her den-kin, he provides a note of introduction to the head of House Terafin -- Rath's sister, whom he'd sworn never to contact. 

For only withing the well-guarded Terafin manse will the den stand any chance of escaping the unnatural forces reaching out to claim them....

From the Paperback edition.

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