Seventeen years ago, a long and bloody rebellion wracked the six united regions of the Kingdom. Now the new King wields the vast and unvanquished army of Midlan with his right hand, and with his left has granted a small group of thugs, the nobles he calls his Sovereign Five, unbridled rule over the other regions. As if this weren't bad enough, the King has also outlawed the practice of whispering -- which is a problem for Kael. It's not like he asked to be born a whisperer: he didn't ask for his strange healing powers anymore than he asked to be the village runt. And when he rescues a wounded girl from the perils of the Unforgivable Mountains, his luck only gets worse. She couldn't have been just any girl: she had to be Kyleigh -- the sword-wielding renegade knight with all of Midlan on her trail. Then one miserable, snowy evening, things go from bad to worse, and Kael is left with no choice but to follow Kyleigh down the mountains and into the tumultuous lowlands. She leads him on one mad quest after the next -- eventually pulling off an act of such mischievous proportions that it threatens to change the Kingdom as they know it.