Alaric Morgan has been pledged to the king's service, for his Deryni blood makes him ideal to safeguard the Haldane kings and ensure that Prince Brion shall have protection of his hereditary magic. But the Deryni are feared by the populace of Gwynedd and are viewed with deep suspicion by the Church. And the Camberian Council, which secretly oversees the activities of Deryni, scorns Alaric for his half-breed ancestry. Alaric has the king's protection, and a future mapped out for him that in time should ensure his survival as well as that of the king's heir. But Alaric is only four years old—and first he must survive to reach manhood.