Jaena, a young priest, travels to isolated villages, blessing births and singing the souls of the departed to her goddess. In one village she finds Wiel, a boy with the rare mage talent known as taylen that is linked to a fatal illness. Jaena takes Wiel to the city to try to save his life. Too late, she discovers she has delivered Wiel into the hands of the Mage Defender, who rules by stealing the magic – and the lives – of children.Desperate to right the wrong she has done, Jaena races for aid to save Wiel and destroy the Mage Defender. At stake are the lives of the last remaining taylenor as well as Jaena’s own survival – and the destruction of an ancient scourge that has reawakened to threaten all the people of Cassahn.