Hidden within a avolcanic crater, the earthly paradise of Osrakum is the very heart of the Three Lands - a vast empire ruled over by the imperious and cruel Masters. Carnelian is a Master but, living in exile with his father on a remote island, he has grown up free from their pomp and ritual, humanised by the love of his household. Years later, through bitter winter gales, a great black ship arrives to shatter his world. It brings three mask-clad Masters come to beg Carnelian's father to return to oversee the election of a new God Emperor. Seemingly powerless to refuse, Carnelian journeys with him, across the seas and the Guarded Land, to fabled Osrakum. In the city's echoing halls and forbidden gardens, bitter, bloody lessons of power and intrigue have to be learned, love sought and treachery endured, and in fufilling his destiny, Carnelian sets in motion the concluding events in a story 4,000 years old... The first book in a remarkable new trilogy, The Chosen heralds the arrival of a dazzling and original new voice.