Outcast ...For years the land of Ar has lived at peace. Here the catlike mrem rule by duty and honor. Now, from out of the east, their legendary enemies have risen again, sweeping toward Ar to begin their conquest anew.Suspected because of his dark fur and magical abilities, Talwe is outcast by his village and sentenced to service in the White Dancer’s guard. When he recues the beautiful princess Sruss, heir to the throne of Ar, he finds himself caught at the center of court intrigue. For as murderous traitors seek to usurp the throne, the ancient Eastern Lords invade with their arsenal of evil sorcery. Only Talwe, Sruss, and the mysterious Council of the Three command the magic necessary to defend the vital border post of Cragsclaw from the power of the Eastern Lords—a deadly force more potent than any the mrem have ever seen.Ambush!Out of the shadows of the forest poured a host of mrem, knives and swords glittering in the light of the moon. Their fur was dark, but some were many-colored, and most wore mismatched leather armor over their legs and their chests. One raced toward Talwe, and the hunter raised his sword, prepared to fight. Their curved blades arced together and stopped. With his free hand Talwe slashed at his opponent’s eyes, claws bared. The mrem danced back, startled, and lost sight of Talwe’s sword. Within seconds, the attacker lay dead.Hissing a challenge, Talwe charged at those facing the whitefur. He slashed through the neck of one mrem, then thrust his sword under the tunic of another. He was winning his way through, and the Song of the Hunt rang through his brain.“Sruss!” he cried, and then his mind tore free. He wheeled and saw a sword flash toward his eyes.