I just finished this book and enjoyed it thoroughly. The plot revolves around two central characters, Arrow, a female barbarian champion, and Thraxis, an extremely proud wizard. The author is very adept at making the the characters realistic. Neither is perfect--in fact, their quest is really to correct horrible, tragic events that they, themselves, helped set in motion out of fear and pride. Arrow, because of feelings of inadequacy due to being a rare female champion, blindly follows a bloody leader, sowing death among innocent people. She even allows a renegade wizard to change her into a berserker because she fears failure so greatly. Finally she cannot stomach the horrible orders of her chief and flees to find help to right the wrongs she has helped cause. Thraxis is sent to help her. Once the most proud and powerful of the wizards, he is now crippled by a death spell, and has been left nearly powerless. (He brought this on himself by being heartless toward the very wizard who later went renegade and stirred up Arrow's clan!) He still feels superior to this barbarian woman whom he has been forced to help. Needless to say, these two have a lot of clashes and misunderstandings. You will have to read the book to find out if these two people can ever become a team strong enough to take on a renegade warlord, his army, and a powerful wizard! My only tiny quibble with this book, and the reason I gave it 4 instead of 5, is that while all the characters, main and secondary, are wonderfully drawn, the author does not give me enough picture of the physical lands the heroes travel through. Just the vaguest of outlines--forest, town, plains. I would have loved a little more detail of places and things. But overall I loved the book and I will be rereading this one!