Firoze and Gnomon: two rival nations that share the same island. The powerful Firozians are famous for their magical swords and warlike spirit. The gentle Gnomons are known for their precision clocks - and for their power over time itself. The death of an innocent boy sparks war between Gnomon and Firoze. Swords are sharpened and spells prepared. But no sooner than the battle lines are drawn, a foreign power attacks the island.
Though they share a manor house, the Paradines are not close, and their patriarch does nothing to discourage the petty jealousies that divide wealthy families. A cold figure, James Paradine prefers work to his relations, but on New Year's Eve he convenes the household. Valuable plans have been stolen from his office, and only one person could be to blame. He knows the culprit's name and gives the thief until midnight to come forward.
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