In Northern Genabackis, just before the events recounted in Gardens of the Moon, a tribal raiding party descends into the southern flat lands intent on wreaking havoc. But for the one named Karsa Orlong it marks the beginning of what will prove an extraordinary destiny. Some years later, Tavore, recently appointed Adjunct to the Empress, has arrived in the last Malazan stronghold on Seven Cities.
New to command, she must hone twelve thousand soldiers, into a force capable of confronting the massed hordes of the seer Shaiks Whirlwind who lie in the heart of the Holy Desert. But waiting is never easy. The tribal chiefs are locked in a power struggle that threatens the very soul of the rebellion, while Shaik herself is haunted by the knowledge of her nemesis, Tavore, her own sister So begins this awesome epic novel of war, intrigue, magic and betrayal from a writer regarded as one of the most original and exciting storytellers in fantasy today.