Bane, the bastard son of King Connavar of the Rigante grows up an outcast and loner due to his father's disregard and his only childhood friend is the son of the dead forigner Banouin. Though totally opposite the two remain close friends as they mature into young men and this is why Bane decides to travel with his friend to the city of stone where Banouin's father grew up. Along the way they help out a former family of the city of stone, a man and his young daughter from drowning and get invited back to their house. While staying with Appius Bane develops feelings for his daughter Lia but disaster strikes in the form of three church soldiers' that attack killing Lia and her father. It's only through the ministrations of the Morrigu that Bane somehow survives his grevious wounds. Banouin gives up on his friend and they part company on bad terms.
Bane finds out that the man who killed Lia is Voltan, a former gladiator who became a church soldier after he retired. He decides to become a gladiator in order to get the skills neccessary to defeat Voltan and the man that he hires to help him is a retired gladiater Rage.
In an effort to protect Bane, Rage makes a deal to fight Voltan because he knows that Voltan is to good for Bane and ends up killing Voltan in the ring. Later while in the palace Bane saves the emperor Jasaray from attempted assasination and is richly rewarded. Bane takes this wealth back home where he is still shuned by the community yet he still prospers and ends up saving the king's mother from the Vars at Two Streams village.
One day the Morrigu summons him to repay a favor and that is to go to his injured father who has been attacked and fatally injured by his traitorus brother Braefar and his accomplices. Once there Bane makes his peace with Connavar and puts on his armor. He then rides back to the Rigante force that is fighting Jasaray's Panthers. The troops don't know that it's Bane and believe that Connavar has rejoined them and fight with a renewed vigor.
The review of this Book prepared by steven vanzant