An ages old wizard tries to make a young woman his own, because divinations of the future have foretold him that she will be his bride, but when she falls in love with one of his hirelings (one person called Mocker), problems are afoot. All comes to a head in a castle deep in the mountains, but when some old enemies of the wizard turn up, everything goes from bad to worse.
I liked the first Dread Empire novel, but I wasn’t blown away as much as I expected from reading the praise heaped on the Dread Empire books (for example in the introduction to the new omnibus edition from Night Shade Books). This is just a good story with neat world-building (not really original, but neither completely cliched), and many interesting characters. Sometimes there are too much characters, you’ll wonder the whole time who are the main characters, and even at the end I wasn’t sure there were any. The ending of the first novel gave a satisfying conclusion while some questions remained unanswered and some new popped up.