This book gives us a better understanding of Herald Alberich. It takes us back all the way to when he was still a Captain for the dreaded Karsite army. After he was chosen, many people couldn't trust him, including some heralds. It comes to the point where even some stong-headed young companions try to attack him!!! Had it not been for his own companion and the grove-born stallion Taver, he probably would have died! Through many trials and hardships, Alberich finally becomes trusted. He is even made Weaponsmaster Second right away. But, as the Karsite army grows near, will Alberich stay with Valdemar or will he betray his new King for the land he knows so well? Find out!
Herald Alberich is now the collegium Weaponsmaster by day, spy for valdemar by night, and is personal for ensuring the Queen's safety whenever the call is there. Selenay, now Queen Selenay, is on the throne but only just. Still in mourning for her father, the late King Sendar, the Council is putting pressure on her to marry for they don't beleive a young female can rule alone. But the last thing a young girl like Selenay wants is a state marriage with someone she doesn't know or someone that isn't even close to her own age. But a ray of light crosses the young Queen's path in the shape of Karathanalen, the prince of Rethwellan, and she finds her romance at last. But something strange is brewing and none of the Heralds or their Companions can quite figure out what it is. Alberich rumages throughout the slums of valdemar in his many disguises but finds only subtle clues and coded messages. Someone is plotting against the new Queen, but who it it?
Skif was an orphan boy who's care was in the hands of his Uncle Londer's. His uncle did not care about or even like Skif. He put the boy to work and had him in rags. One day, while Skif was "foraging" for some extra food, he came upon a boy named Deek. This boy was a pick-pocket and a theif. Deek took Skif to meet his master, a crippled man named Bazie who took led and cared for the boys. Skif decided to become a theif. When Skif was 12, he was the most skilled cat burglar in Bazie's gang, but something went horribly wrong. Bazie was killed in a fire because he had no way to get out. Skif was then on his own. Until, one night he saw a finely decked-out white horse standing by itself (which was weird) in the middle of the street. He decided to "steal" it and hope he could get a reward or sell it for a high price. Little did Skif know that this so-called "horse" was a companion and that he was about to become a Herald of Valdemar.