300 years after the end of the Great Shadowking War, evil is seeping out into the world once more. Emperor Magramon is dead and his only son, Ilgarion, will finally ascend to the Khatrimantine throne, guided by the Archmage Tangaroth and protected by the Iron Guard. But dark undercurrents are moving beneath the surface of life in Sejeend, the imperial capital, and the agents of an old and malign power are plotting and waiting. Only the Order of Watchers, a band of renegade mages, has any inkling of what is afoot and their investigations lead to grotesque and violent confrontations. But Ilgarion is obsessed with the empire's enemies, imagined or otherwise, and his pursuit of them can only bring about turmoil. Into this web of uncertainty Corlek Ondene, former captain of the Iron Guard, unknowingly walks and sets in motion a string of clashing events. Can Tashil, Dardan, the Countess Ayoni, and the other Watcher mages, root out the source of evil before its terrifying hunger is set loose? And can the poet Calabos, elderly leader of the Watchers, keep his real identity a secret through all the nightmarish encounters he will undergo? For the faces of Night dance with the faces of Day, but the weaver of Fate dances alone.