All her life, Kat has known that she does not belong.In her father's village, she is scorned for her fiery red hair, legacy of her father's shameful marriage to a native woman.
And in her mother's mountain town, Kat is an outsider, someone her aunt and cousins love desperately but cannot understand. Her only true home, she feels, is with a gray-eyed young man named Nall. . . .
But Nall is an outsider too. Cast out by his tribe, he has no place to call home. Can Kat trust his love and make a new life with him, even amid the terror that is spreading around them?
For war is breaking out between two clans who both claim Kat's allegiance, and she can do nothing to stop it. When her beloved brother, Dai, is taken prisoner, Kat must confront not only the earthly battle that is tearing her world apart, but the struggle within herself and with the man she loves.
In the face of chaos that is destroying everything they know, Kat and Nall embark on a dangerous quest -- a journey that will take them beyond themselves and beyond the last boundary of all, to the Gate where the world was born.