Sparhawk, Pandion Knight and Queen's Champion, returns to Elenia from a long spell of exile to find his young Queen grievously ill and his native land overrun with evil and intrigue. Queen Ehlana can be kept alive, magically encased within a block of crystal, for one year. But the cost is tragically high. Unless Sparhawk and his allies can find a cure, the Pandion Knights must one by one enter the House of the Dead in order to preserve the Queen on her diamond throne. Enter a world of warring kingdoms, savage intrigue, magic and marvels.