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An unusual object, compelling and unexplainable, comes into the possession of reclusive author, Suzanne Jennings, by an even stranger set of circumstances. The Tearstone forces her on an ominous journey to a time and place over a thousand years into our future, long after five natural cataclysms have almost destroyed the earth. What is left of mankind clings to the remnants of a fierce feudal society, living in a harsh climate and hostile environment. Those who have survived are forced to hunt and destroy the skags-the Others-of-Us--the (nearly) immortal survivors of biological contamination, who scavenge the land looking for anything or anyone to eat, either living or dead. Weary and scarred after years of fighting renegade tribesmen and the undying scags, the warlord, Prince Akken'ar must find and bring back the promised Wordsayer to his towered keep, Ironhold. All hope rests on the Wordsayer's ability to read and relay the words of the blessed Saint Kyrk's Sacred Text--how to defeat the skags. However, no one, especially Akken'ar, expected the Wordsayer to be a beautiful and intriguing woman. Time is running out. The creatures gather on the night of the Red Eclipse, an event that occurs every 214 years...and Akken'ar has ten days left.