The Shadow Ground is the place where wonder meets fear, and the flickering succession of light and darkness deceives the eyes. In a time when gods and men share the earth, legends abound, and mythical islands come and go in the mist of the Celtic Sea, a young man must discover the one truth that will change the past so that he may ransom the future.
Following a bitter argument with his brother, Creghan leaves his home on Erin’s east coast, vowing never to return. Forced to take up the life of a mercenary, he enters the service of The Ban, a mysterious warrior queen, who trains him to join her company of elite warriors. She bestows upon him an ancient sword – the Duir – which, Creghan discovers, can transport him back to another time when he was the sole, surviving protector of a young priestess, to whom he gave his heart.
The Ban tells Creghan that in order to reclaim his love, he must overcome illusion and learn to look beyond the shadows that blind his eyes. Throughout the dangers he must face in his present life – the defense of two young, dispossessed women, the battle fought on behalf of his sister’s husband, a contest with the sea raider, Adderle, and even the ire of a wild man armed with an axe – he continues to journey back to the past, hoping that in the spaces between the shadows he may see the truth.