The people of Getty's town remember the death of their cemetry soldier, Nevare Burve, vividly. Believing him guilty of unspeakable crimes, they recall beating him to death.
But Nevare didn't die that day. A power far more intractable than an angry mob seized control of his life and swept him away.
When he was a boy, the magic of the Speck people - the strange dapple-skinned tribes of the frontier forests - claimed Nevare as their saviour, shaping him into a weapon to halt the Gernian expansion into Speck lands.
Until now Nevare has defied the magic, unable to accept his traitorous fate. But when the magic threatened the only loved-ones he had left, Nevare had no choice but to surrender to it.
When his efforts at seeking a peaceful solution fail, an exhausted Nevare can no longer suppress his ruthless Speck self, Soldier's boy. He is determined to stop the Gernian expansion at all costs, and unlike Nevare, has no sympathy for his spirit-twin's world.