Jarred, recently come of age, is leaving the sun-scorched desert village that has always been his home. He sets out with a band of friends to see the mighty and beautiful kingdom of the north and to seek out the truth about his father, who came to the village a stranger and departed when Jarred was ten, never to return.
After the travellers are set upon in a ravine and several of their number sustain injuries, they seek shelter in the Marsh of Slievmordhu - a cool green world of dazzling beauty as different from their homeland as night and day. Here Jarred meets Lilith, and in a single moment he realizes that his life can never be the same again. But neither of the young lovers is aware how closely linked their fates - and their past - really are. During a visit to Cathair Rua, the Red City, Jarred stumbles across the secret of the Iron Tree, and with it an unbearable truth about his father's identity...
Praise for the `Bitterbynde' trilogy:
`Dart-Thornton's Bitterbynde trilogy - each book and all three together - deserves to win every fantasy award there is' Tanith Lee
'Hobbit-fanciers will find much to delight them' The Times