Our world and the Five Quarters are shadows of one another, joined by death and three wells of the sea... When Nechtan, warrior king of the Five Quarters is murdered, he leaves his land on the brink of civil war. His closest adviser, the druid Lyleth, has a price on her head and the evidence to condemn the real killer. Seeking to unify the land, she strikes a bargain with her green gods and weaves a forgotten spell to summon her king from the land of the dead. Hugh Cavendish is torn from his life as a high school English teacher and pitched back into the turmoil of his previous life as king Nechtan. If he and Lyleth fail to regain his throne and prevent civil war, the ice-born reaver known as the Bear waits to snatch up the scraps of the kingdom. As Hugh clings to life in our world, in the other he must face the rebellion as well as the Bear. If he lets go of life in either world he will lose not only his kingdom but the woman he loves.