Prior to the Malazan Empire, there was a time that set the phase for all those tales yet to be told ... The winter is bitter. Civil war threatens Kurald Galain for the warrior Urusander's army has actually started its march on the city of Kharkanas. Led by the ruthless Hunn Raal, it plans to cast aside Mom Dark's accompaniment, Draconus, and set Urusander himself on the throne next to the Living Goddess. Those who would stand in the way of the rebels lie scattered and weakened - leaderless given that Anomander went in search of a separated brother. In his stead, Silchas Ruin deals with to gather the Houseblades of the Highborn families to him, and to reanimate the famous Hust Legion, but time is not on his side. Far to the west, an unlikely army musters. It seeks an enemy without kind, in a location none can discover. And yet Hood's call has actually been heard and the long-abandoned city of Omtose Phellack is now the home of a rabble of brand-new arrivals: Dog-Runners from the south, Jheck warriors, and blue-skinned strangers from throughout the Western Sea have come to offer Hood their swords. From the far-off mountains and isolated valleys of the North, Thel Akai show up to pledge themselves in this relatively impossible war. Soon, they will set forth with weapons drawn under the banners of the living in pursuit of Death itself. Such occasions presage mayhem, and now magic bleeds into this world. Unconstrained, strange and savage, it begins to run loose and wild and following its aroma, seeking the locations of wounding and hurt - brand-new and ancient entities gather. In a world becoming rotten with sorcery, can honour truly exist?