For one to succeed, the other must fail...
Before the Decree of Bright Magic passed, hedgewitches, far-seers, and even goblins had been tolerated by the church. Now working magic carries a death sentence, and when Makenna's mother is drowned for her work as a hedgewitch, Makenna wreaks revenge on her village and flees into the wilderness. As she wanders north, Makenna rescues and befriends the goblins who are being burned out of their homes. She may be only a half-trained hedgewitch, but Makenna believes that with courage and cleverness they can create their own kingdom in the great northern woods, and repel any humans who seek to settle there.
Sir Tobin has spent the last three years fighting the barbarian armies that attack the realm's southern border each winter-every year their numbers are greater, and their magic grows stronger. So when a powerful priest tells Tobin that the realm's only hope of survival is to move everyone into the northern woodlands, Tobin sees why this impossible feat is necessary. However the relocation can't even start, because all the refugees who try to settle in the woods have been driven out by a powerful sorceress and her goblin army. Tobin has no magic himself, but he might be able to plant a charm in the sorceress' lair that would allow the priests to find and destroy her-and the realm's survival depends on his success.
And the battle for the Goblin Wood begins.