Lavan Chitward is a very unhappy young man; pulled away from his country home by his parents' ambitions and resettled in the big city of Haven, he is desperately lonely, bullied and beaten at school, ignored by his parents. It is not surprising that he falls ill -- but his illness is the first manifestation of a terrible power, the Gift of the Firestorm, a power which can and does kill. If controlled, the Gift of the Firestorm can save Valdemar, but if it is uncontrolled, it will destroy the country -- and him. Chosen by the Companion Kalira, brought into the ranks of the Heralds of Valdemar, Lavan finds acceptance and hope for the first time. But war with Karse threatens to engulf the Kingdom and only Lavan Firestorm stands between Valdemar and destruction -- and only then if he can harness his dreadful power to his will.