High sorcery lives on only in legend. The Relics are lost. A human empire founded more on the spade than the blade has tamed the wild lands where dragons once wielded their fiery lordship. But not all have forgotten the old ways. An ancient evil is stirring, and the Relics of Power are only scattered, not destroyed. None of this troubles Triston Slendrake. He has his own problems. Like his slave-driving bosses, the innkeeper and his sadistic wife. Like his daily diet of cold mush. Like his best friend Alden, who’s better than him at everything. Like Kara, who doesn’t know he exists. But the sudden arrival of two illustrious strangers on the day of the duel changes everything. Triston soon realizes his dirtbag boss is the least of his worries as he struggles to disentangle himself from a web of greed, bloodshed, and sorcery so foul none have seen the likes of it in over a thousand years. Where do you run, when the long-forgotten power of the undead once again threatens to overwhelm all you hold dear? For Triston, only one thing is clear: running is not an option.