Joel's achieved the impossible. He's escaped from The Temple of Differe School, twice. His actions are seen as a scandalous crime in Differe, but on his second flight he discovers a city in the West End has the power to pardon his offense. He can be free of the headmaster forever . . . if only he can get there. Disguised as a temple guard, Joel races to the capital city of Facilis with a band of rogue Differian soldiers. The group wreaks havoc along the way, as Joel learns Differe's power stretches well beyond its borders and is controlling many of the villages in the West End. As he nears Facilis, he begins to realize his quest for freedom will impact more than himself. That is, until the city falls under siege to Differe, and he gets caught. Outside Joel's prison walls a whole region is rooting for him, an entire army awaits his leadership, and his best friend has given him her heart, yet all he can hear in his head is the enemy's victory cries. Hope calls to him, if only he will choose to hear it above the noise of his own voices.