As the Riftwar tears Midkemia apart, enemies trapped in the frozen Northlands must trust each other to stay alive. . . .
In the sprawling, embattled land of Midkemia, fate can form strange alliances. Nine years into the bloody and ongoing Riftwar, Dennis Hartraft's Marauders are cold, hungry, and exhausted. Having only just survived a disastrous encounter with their sworn enemy, the Tsurani, the soldiers are headed for a frontier garrison, where they will be able to rest and recover. But Hartraft's company arrives at the same time as a Tsurani patrol, and both sides discover the stronghold overrun by a migrating horde of dark elves called moredhel, a foe so deadly and vicious the bitter enemies must band together and fight as one.
But can their hatred for their mutual enemy overcome their distrust of each other? As the two groups, bound to each other by their common foe, make their way across the unknown Northlands to freedom, they have to struggle with not only the elements and the enemy, but also their consciences. For, with both sides carrying painful scars from past wars, each man must ask himself what is more important: one's life or one's honor?