This book opens with Richard and Kahlan still in the Old World traveling back to the New World. A new character Owen pleads for Richard and Kahlan’s help in freeing his people from the hands of the Imperial Order. They are set upon by a seemingly mysterious dust storm that holds the silhouette of a man. They are sent a warning letter by Nicci, but before they are able to finish reading the letter they are set upon by Imperial Order Mercenaries. After learning that Richard has been poisoned by Owen they must travel back deeper into the Old World to the Bandakar. They find an ancient boundary protecting the Bandakar Empire from outside invaders came down two years past and now the Imperial Order has occupied this nation of frail-minded people. Soon Richard and Kahlan learn of a new monster that was created by Jagang’s Sisters of the Dark.