"From a strong new voice in epic fantasy comes the fiercely original tale of Durand, a good squire trying to become a good knight in a harsh and unforgiving world. Set to inherit the lordship of a small village in his father's barony because the knight of that village has been bereaved of his own son, Durand must leave when the son unexpectedly turns up alive. First he falls in with a band of knights working for a duke's vicious son and ends up participating in the murder of the duke's adulterous wife. Fleeing, he comes into the service of another duke's disgraced second son, Lamoric, who is carrying out a complex subterfuge to try to restore his honor in the eyes of his father, family, and king. But greater conspiracies are afoot, dark plots that could break the oaths which bind the kingdom and the duchies together and keep the Banished at bay. It may fall to Durand to save the world of Man."--Publisher's description.