Now is the time to tell a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come … and all those already told. It is the Age of Darkness and the realm called Kuruld Galain – home of the Tiste Andii and ruled over by Mother Dark from her citadel in Kharkanas – is in a perilous state. For the commoners’ great warrior hero, Vatha Urusander, is being championed by his followers to take Mother Dark’s hand in marriage but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambition. As the impending clash between these two rival powers sends fissures rippling across the land and rumours of civil war flare and take hold amongst the people, so an ancient power emerges from seas once thought to be long dead. None can fathom its true purpose nor comprehend its potential. And caught in the middle of this seemingly inevitable conflagration are the First Sons of Darkness – Anomander, Andarist and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold – and they are about to reshape the world … Here begins Steven Erikson’s epic tale of bitter family rivalries, of jealousies and betrayals, of wild magic and unfettered power … and of the forging of a sword.