It is winter on the lawless steppes of Emmenrule when Lady Isola, traveling to the fortified city of Croad, is kidnapped by the dreaded Beauceron, the Dog of the North. It is Beauceron's life's ambition to capture Croad itself—whatever the cost—but what is the source of his obsession? Meanwhile in Croad, Arren, a young man of talent but obscure birth, is taken under the wing of the city's ruler, Lord Thaume, and grows into a young knight of prowess and reputation. But as his fortunes rise, those of his childhood friend Eilla decline. Years later, Beauceron returns with Lady Isola to his home, the frozen city of Mettingloom, determined to raise an army to capture the city he loathes. In Croad, when Eilla is forced to work as a servant in Lord Thaume's household, Arren realizes that his love for her is more important than his prospects for advancement. They plan to elope, but Lord Thaume's jealous daughter Siedra is much more dangerous than Arren realizes. Both epic and drily humorous, this is mainstream fantasy that will also appeal to fans of historical fiction.
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