A forbidden forest, where wild beasts roam among mysterious ruins and ancient sorceries.
A royal family, torn apart by jealousy and betrayal.
A legendary creature, whose appearance may save them all—or destroy the world.
Welcome to the Mirrenwood…
The royal physician Zimenes is in a bind: his most important patient—and his best friend—King Adalmund is gravely ill and wasting away. A cure exists, but the medicine requires the powdered horn of a unicorn. However, the king has sealed off the Mirrenwood, and refuses to allow the unicorn to be hunted, despite his friend’s urgent pleas.
Everything changes when Adalmund’s daughter Vialle returns to the kingdom. Zimenes taught the young princess to read and write and cast the cards, but he hasn’t seen her in ten years, since she left to continue her schooling. Vialle is determined to take charge of her father’s cure: she has hired hunters, horses, and hounds, and she persuades her father to open the Mirrenwood. She will be the lure, the “maiden of noble blood” required to draw the unicorn from hiding.
Will the hunters find the creature they seek? Will they heal their king, and repair the fractured kingdom? Or does the maze-like Mirrenwood have its own desires? Join Zimenes, Vialle, and their companions on an epic quest that will take them into the dark heart of the Mirrenwood—and beyond.
“Where there are no tigers, the wolves come.” — Udege saying
Primorsky Krai. The last place in the world where the Siberian tiger prowls in the wild. The native Udege people’s word for tiger is amba, “spirit of the forest.”
Yuri Kaskilev was a sniper with the elite Russian special forces known as spetsnaz—until he left the army in disgust and found a sense of purpose in the twelve-man Anti-Poaching Brigade. When Yuri rescues two tiger cubs from their dying mother, he unleashes a chain of events that he could not have foreseen.
Dr. Miko Katanabe is one of the world’s leading tiger experts, and she is brought in to attempt something that has never been tried before: she will train the motherless cubs and introduce them into the wild when they reach maturity. Should her Project succeed, more tigers born in captivity could be similarly “reintroduced.” Yuri doubts Miko’s logical, data-driven models; she is equally wary of him and his violent past.
Major Ivan Iliakov recruited Yuri into spetsnaz from the Yakutsk Home for Orphaned Boys. Wherever the Major went, Yuri followed—until Chechnya. Now, Iliakov has come to Primorsky Krai, lured by the lucrative possibilities opening up in the freebooting world of Russian capitalism—where a tiger’s body parts can bring tens of thousands of dollars on the black market.
Khagan, the “king of kings,” is an enormous rogue male tiger, wounded, aging, and eternally hungry. Khagan does not take kindly to the sudden intrusion of these strange people and their cubs in his territory…