The story's engaging first part concerns Mitt, a sensitive, courageous young man who speaks his mind. An earl and countess assign him the unpleasant task of murdering Noreth, a teen who believes it's her destiny to seek the ring, cup, and sword that will allow her to unify the land and become queen. The author then leaps ahead 200 years and introduces Maewen, 13, who is sent back in time to impersonate Noreth. Maewen is quite clueless about her purpose, but adjusts to the strangeness of being in the past and on a quest remarkably quickly. Her followers accept her as Noreth without suspicion?proving Wynne Jones's observation that people see what they want to see.
This is the conclusion of the Dalemark Quartet, and it deftly brings together the previous three books. They did not seem to connect at all, but the forth one brings it together in ways I had not thought of as I was reading the previous ones. It was literally awesome, and I finished the book in one day. I highly recommend it, but only after reading the other three because otherwise you will be confused.