With unblinking determination, Sugawara Akitada must confront an ancient evil in a frozen land.

Unlocking the doors to power and influence in eleventh-century Japan comes naturally to one as cunning and curious as Sugawara Akitada. Now he travels north to assume the provisional governorship of Echigo, a remote and frigid province notorious for its hostility to outsiders. There, as the winter snows threaten to sever all ties to civilization, his tenuous authority and the very lives of his family are jeopardized by a rash of troubles, including a local uprising, a slew of brutal murders, and a secret as cruel as the northern winter . . . and a lot more treacherous.
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