'Generis, the son of the Lord Genet of the City State in the north is selected as a human sacrifice. His father is ruled by the legend and the lore and cannot prevent the death of his only son. However, with the help of the Lady Siliqua he does manage to secure a line of succession. When a grandson is born he survives by a miracle after he presented twisted in the breech position, with the umbilical cord knotted around his neck. As a consequence he is given the name Gnarl.
'The Lord Genet fosters his grandson, Gnarl, out to a fisherman, Cuanzo, and his wife, Sheidel, and the boy has an idyllic childhood. His days are filled with fishing, swimming, diving, and exploring the limestone coast in the fishing village close to the port that serves the City State. Sheidel educates him and inspires him with stories of the legends of the past.
'At age twelve Gnarl must do four years military service and those years prove to be challenging, dangerous, and in the end totally devastating. He shares the four years of training with a boy called Kyler, who “only ever wanted to be a baker.”
'Gnarl and Kyler’s daring adventures takes them to the Khalif’s City in the south where they gain work and vital knowledge that could prove of crucial importance to the survival of their own City State in the north. The Khalif encounters and spares Pevan, and commissions him to perform a dangerous task, which ultimately affects Gnarl’s own future. With courage, determination, and considerable strategic skill, Gnarl and Kyler fight their way through challenging trials, and eventually Gnarl gains some sense of justice for his dead father who he never knew.' (Publication summary)