Author(s): William Nicholson
Led by Hanno and Ira Hath, thirty-two mostly Manth survivors of the fall of the Mastery search for the fabled Homeland. Ira knows that as long as she feels the warmth on her face, despite the wintry conditions, they are heading in the right directino. She also knows that, according to the prophecy, she will die when they reach the homeland. She grows weaker with every step. Hanno must keep up the spirits of the marchers on the gruelling journey. There is dissent, wretched hardships and terrifying brushes with death. Violent bandits abduct the young women; Captain Canobius attempts to poison them; evil passion flies, lives are lost and all the time, they know they must reach the homeland before the wind on fire, which will scorch the land, purging it of the evil brought by the Morah. But there is also love in the air: Sisi loves Bowman; Pinto loves Mumpo; and other new friendships and relationships are forged Mean while, Bowman waits for a summons from the people of Sirene. It is a call that will mean he must leave his beloved family and make the ultimate sacrifice to save his people. Kestrel, too, waits. But she doesn t know what for, and she dreads it. Eventually, the summons comes. But, to his surprise, before being taken to Sirene, Bowman must be trained - by none other than the Master, who was rescued by Jumper, one of the Singer people of Sirene, when the Mastery was destroyed, in order to train Bowman for his future role. Also, Kestrel is to join him. Neither is sure why Bowman thinks his future role is to join the Singer people in their ultimate sacrifice, but in an electrifying mind duel with Kestrel he discovers he is wrong: it is Kestrel who is to give up her life to save their people; Bowman must live to rule them. Just as Kestrel is consumed in the ecstasy of the wind on fire, her people reach the Homeland and Ira dies. Bowman and Sisi marry and rule the kingdom of Gang. Years later, we see the marchers happily settled in their new homeland.