A small force of peasants from the forest regions surrounding Lake Lucerne, rise up against their Austrian overlords in the 14th century. Outnumbered seven-to-one by the battle-hardened Habsburg army, they have little hope. A daring moonlight raid leaves the outlaw Noll Melchthal in possession of an Austrian fortress. In the north, an outraged Leopold of Habsburg assembles the ultimate punitive force: a great army, thousands strong, boasting the best knights and soldiers the Holy Roman Empire has to offer.
Brother Foulques de Villaret just wants to stay in Acre and perform his sworn duties. Instead, the young Hospitaller Knight of Saint John must undertake a dangerous journey from the Holy Land to a remote village nestled in the Alps, the 'Spine of the World'. His mission: buy 500 peasant boys and return them to Acre to be trained as soldiers of Christ.
A wild land too mountainous to be tamed by plows…A Duke of the Holy Roman Empire, his cunning overshadowed only by his ambition…A young Priestess of the Old Religion, together with a charismatic outlaw, sparking a rebellion from deep within the forests…And an ex-Hospitaller caught between them all. At the end of the thirteenth century, five hundred orphans and second sons are rounded up from villages in the Alpine countryside and sold to the Hospitaller Knights of St John. Trained to serve as Soldiers of Christ, they fight in eastern lands they know nothing about, for a cause they do not understand.
Rising high above the frigid waters, the ocean city of Osiris has been cut off from the land since the Great Storm 50 years ago. Most believe that Osiris is the last city on Earth, while others cling to the idea that life still survives somewhere beyond the merciless seas. But for all its inhabitants, Citizens and refugees alike, Osiris is the entire world - and it is a world divided. Adelaide is the black-sheep granddaughter of the city’s Architect. A jaded socialite and family miscreant, she wants little to do with her powerful relatives.
Adelaide Rechnov. Wealthy socialite and granddaughter of the Architect, she spends her time in pointless luxury, rebelling against her family in a series of jaded social extravagances and scandals until her twin brother disappears in mysterious circumstances. Vikram Bai. He lives in the Western Quarter, home to the poor descendants of storm refugees and effectively quarantined from the wealthy elite. Can Adelaide and Vikram bridge the divide at the heart of Osiris before conspiracies bring them to the edge of disaster?