Dark magic, mad gods, and tragically flawed heroes thunder across the sensuously detailed world in Wilson's novel. Ifferon, offspring of the dead god Telm, flees religious sanctuary when attacked by the armies of the hell-chained monster Agon. Accompanied by Yavün Arri, an unstable poet, and Herr ‘Don, disgraced prince of Boror, Ifferon battles Shadowspirits in his search for the legendary mage Melgalés. Possessing the Scroll of Mestalarin (the dying words of Telm), Ifferon struggles with doubt, which enriches thrilling bouts of sword-and-sorcery carnage and the betrayal of friends. Can Ifferon prevent Agon's rampage by reading the words of Telm or will he surrender to despair? Terror breathes beneath lush descriptions, and a palpable sense of doom lurks in even the most inspiring moments of enchantment. Gods in Wilson's world die, men's hearts betray, and hope is but a wavering spark. Ifferon's struggle between duty and fear injects immediacy into richly envisioned and intricate religious systems, social structures, and old magic. And while stilted dialogue and a dependence on archetypes prohibits Wilson from reaching the heights of J.R.R. Tolkien or Stephen R. Donaldson, genre fans will more than enjoy joining Ifferon on his desperate race against rising chaos.