Will and Evanlyn have been kidnapped by Skandians following the battle in Three Step Pass. Unable to catch them before they sail, Ranger Halt has vowed to rescue Will no matter the cost. But with a possible war looming, King Duncan cannot spare the senior Ranger and Halt must make an incredible sacrifice if he is to keep his promise. Meanwhile, Will and Evanlyn gain the grudging respect of Erak, leader of the Skandian army. After keeping the two safe from other troops, he arranges to have them work as slaves. Unfortunately, this plan backfires as the two young people are separated and Will is sent to work in the pitiless cold. Frozen and growing weaker by the day, Will is broken when he becomes addicted to the drug warmweed. Now, a mindless drone, it will take the help of someone powerful to free him and Evanlyn from their arctic prison. Just as things seem ever bleaker for the pair, Halt accompanied by Horace gets sidelined by a power mad knight named Deparnieux in Gallica. Forced are drawing our heroes closer together, but will those against them prove too much? This next title in the Ranger's Apprentice series is a good middle book to the series. A decent stand alone, it should be read amidst the others in the series to fully appreciate its impact.
Contributed by J.R.S.