In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In a dark age whem it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challange those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challange or become next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the beat of their harts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own scul. Falling in love would destroy them - for reasons Richard can't imagine and Kahlan dare not tell him. In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword-to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed...or that their time has run out. This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.