It has been centuries since Earth's societies crumbled, leaving the planet a nearly barren wasteland. Since then, the remnants of humanity have slowly rebuilt isolated civilizations with new cultures and ideas, all seemingly unaware of how the world ended. It is a world ravaged by war, illness, and famine. To Benedict Limmetrad, the outcast son of Freztad's former chief, that world is about to get much bigger. When the mysterious forces of a faraway land capture a beloved member of his village, Ben embarks on a quest to bring her home-only to discover that the world is far more dangerous and mysterious than he had once thought. His journey proves perilous, and he is faced with death and danger at every turn. Throughout his quest, Ben's values and sense of self are pushed to the limits as he uncovers the secrets of the world, its past, and himself.