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The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel-the opening installment in a thrilling quartet-a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism, wonder, and hope. A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination-a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing. But there are those who fight the Talisman's spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim-the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her apprentice, Sinnia, skilled warriors who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy's oppressive ways. Now, they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world. Finding a copy of The Bloodprint promises to be their most dangerous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies-a loyal ex-slave and Arian's former confidante and sword master-both Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.