Evinn Eaglefriend’s boyhood was filled with stories of the free eagles that used to roam peacefully behind his people’s citadel, of Roftome the Untamable, whose fiercely sought allegiance had only been given to one man.
Now, at 16, near the end of rigorous battle training that had once turned youths of the realm into Eaglemasters, he regards these accounts as little more than fanciful children’s tales. There are no free eagles, only Pyrnaq, the rattle of their chains a prelude to the blood they shed, their screams icy with insatiable wrath.
Second in line for the throne his mother’s father once sat upon, he’s been hardened over the years by sword and spear alongside his cousin, Vethros, whose coronation is only months away. He loves the future king like a brother, and does not envy him the challenges he’ll inherit with his crown. To their north, Sydrenna Eaglebreaker gains more ground every month with an army that eclipses the very sun, and south, the ferotaurs and shriekers are united against them under a ruler bent on seizing their kingdom with his sorcery.
When his father pulls him and Vethros from their lessons one day to visit the wizard Nottleforf at Korindelf, they realize that their training is at an abrupt end. The ongoing war for which they’ve prepared all their lives will no longer permit them to grow up at its edge, and they must follow Morlen along a path fraught with dangers they’ve only observed from afar. And, the deeper his father leads them through the heart of their enemy’s power, the more Evinn is forced to grapple with his uncertainty about the legendary figure known as Eaglefriend.
All he does know for certain is one thing: Boyhood is over; the perils that separate kings from princes have just begun.