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A prequel to Swainston''s Castle novels, this story of reader favorite character Jant Shira is perfect for fans of China Mieville, Hal Duncan, and Alan Campbell--the bright cutting edge of contemporary fantasy Here is the story of Jant Shira''s life as a hunter in the mountains, before the drugs took over. Awian exiles are building a stronghold in the Darkling mountains, where the Rhydanne hunt. Their clash of interests soon leads to bloodshed and Shira Dellin, a Rhydanne huntress, appeals to the immortal Circle for justice. The Emperor sends Jant--half-Rhydanne, half-Awian, and all confidence--to mediate. As Jant is drawn into the spiraling violence he is shaken into coming to terms with his own heritage, and with his feelings for the alien, intoxicating Dellin. This story of Jant''s early years in the Circle shows the Fourlands as readers have never seen them before.