The second in Barclay's trilogy about the epic Elven war against mankind Calaius is occupied by an implacable, relentless enemy. The great elven cities are little more than prison camps. Elven slaves are forced to destroy their beloved rainforest to harvest timber for their masters. The enemy has no mercy, no honor, and little skill in battle. The enemy is Man. Those few elves who remain free are fragmented, in squabbling factions, and they must unite before they can take a stand against Man. Many believe that the battle is already lost, but Auum is not one of them. He knows Men's numbers are great but their tactics are weak; he knows Men think the Elves are already beaten; he is convinced that his people must fight now, or see their race destroyed. Takaar disagrees. He believes Elven salvation lies in unlocking their magic, not in fighting pitched battles against Man. He is determined to save his people too, but his tactics are entirely different—and if some Elves must die now to ensure Calaius will be free of Man in the future, it's a sacrifice he is willing to make. The Elves must choose their sides. Whatever they decide, victory will win their freedom, and failure will mean extermination.