Dwal is the fortress community by the lake. Cut off from the outer world by the towering Peaks of Forbid, it is slowly suffocating under the dead hand of the Protectors. Corruption and violence are rife. High on Spineway, the mysterious Rel holds the key to a different way of being. One man – the one who will not be bonded – is the repository of hope. But is Daevren up to the task?