Colin Harten and his parents had fled across the ocean to escape the Family wars in Andover and find a better life. But the New World proved no haven for the Hartens and their fellow refugees. Forced to undertake an expedition to the unexplored plains east of the newly settled coastal cities, the Hartens and their companions were not prepared for the dangers they would face. Pursued by plains dwellers known as the dwarren, the Hartens' wagon train fled to the very edge of a dark forest—a place they had been warned to avoid at all costs by a small band of Alvritshai warriors, the first race they had encountered on the plains. Colin survived the perils of the forest, rescued by spirits of Light, and transformed by the power of the Well of Sorrows, but he paid a very high price. For drinking the LifeBlood--the waters of the Well—changed Colin into something not entirely human. And whatever he has become, he might prove the only defense against the dark spirits of the forest and the Wraiths they had created to destroy humans, dwarren, and the Alvritshai alike.