A fast moving epic fantasy novel set in a mythic era. It traces a journey of survival in a time of warfare, intrigue and oppression.
The Emperor, a bloody usurper of the Archaki Kingdom, rules the land with an iron fist. His winged Hussars swoop on the villages every five years and steal the boy-children for his armies. A group of conspirators from the village of Wacza enlist the aid of a mysterious hermit to combat the tyranny. Together they create a golem, a soulless killer, to slaughter and beat back the Hussars. Everything changes.
Colonel Kuntz, leader of the Hussars, falls in love with Natasha Archaki and, with a price on his head, they flee to join the northern alliance that is at war with the Emperor. Together with a small group of other fugitives they face the perils of the journey through the fearsome Wood of the Suicides, the territory of the fierce isolationist Hadre and must outrun the murderous White Wolves who pursue them in their quest for freedom.