Herald Elspeth, heir of the thrown of Valdamar, convinces her reluctant mother Queen Selenay and the governing Council that she is the only one suited to seek the very reclusive Hawkbrothers, legendary for their mage abilities and mentioned only in some of the oldest of her country's records. The Hawkbrother's help is necessary if Valdamar is going to recover the True Magic her kingdom lost with the death of the last Herald-Mage. And True Magic is the only thing that might defend them in an almost certain war with neighboring Hardorn.
Sent with her, as her guardian, is the former thief Herald Skif, for his unique skills are necessary to keep her alive as they journey through several nations and into the lawless wilds of the south. Both possess mind-magic, which allows them to communicate mind to mind with each other and more importantly, their Companions: sentient beings in the form of white horses, bonded to their Chosen Heralds with unconditional love.
After their long journey, they finally find a tribe of Hawkbrothers only to be turned away without even pleading their case. Elspeth must first earn the trust of the scout Darkwind to prove to him her country's need is urgent, then she must somehow convince him to break his vow never to do magic again, for he is the only one who can teach her the True Magic. But it might well be impossible. The Hawkbrothers have their own enemies working unseen within the tribe.
This report prepared by Allison Brown