As a child, Gabriel witnesses a brutal attack on a young Shinali woman, one of a barbarian tribe living beyond the hills. Terrified, he does nothing to help – but takes a mysterious bone carving from the dying Shinali. Somehow, it soothes his guilt – but also conjures strange visions that will one day guide him towards the discovery of a secret sacrament . . .
For Gabriel does not wish to follow in his father’s footsteps, and become a wealthy, sea-faring merchant. He knows he is destined to become a healer, with the power to decipher dreams, a destiny the bone carving predicts. His decision to hold true to this destiny is one that will cost him dearly. It threatens to tear apart the whole, overbearing Navoran Empire – but might just save an entire people.