|In the shadows of the millennia-old ruins of the Talla Empire, something ancient has awakened. Hours before dawn, a stranger's broken body is found at the edge of the village. Across the village, Rusty awakens from a nightmare. It's his sixteenth birthday - his Magehood day. Studying the Magecraft of the ancients is Rusty's secret passion. Unfortunately, working side-by-side with Mages who have shunned him his entire life is the last thing he wants to do. Rusty plans to refuse the Magehood tests and take his chances on his own when he is thrown into a vision of his future - and everything changes. If he doesn't become a Mage, everyone he loves will die before the end of the next winter. If the Talla Clan is to survive, Rusty must learn to trust himself, lead those who wish him harm, and find truth and hope in the face of an enemy.