"A Journey Without Departure" is the traditional term for a telepathic sending. It is a talent few can perform yet this is the strategy the City of the Magicians-non-violent pacifists, without army or weapons-hopes will mitigate the barbarian invasion coming in six months. The plan could work, but then maybe not. Sas, the young man chosen to "educate the barbarian," can only think, Me? Sendings? They've made a mistake Lalya, a City librarian searching for her dead lover's vanished manuscript, is ensnared by a secret society planning to collaborate with the same barbarians. Attempts to extricate herself from the blackmail, double-dealing, seduction and betrayal force her to realize her final treachery could very well destroy her. Shoan, the Council strategist, is fully aware a shadowy opposition lurks behind the scenes but is stymied how to lure it out into the open. He should remember one of the basic axioms of tactics is, "Methodology is seldom prepared for surprises." Both Sas and Lalya are pawns in the strategies of others... yet it only takes a pawn to change the game. Threat, the first book in The City of the Magicians series, reveals all the preparations for a barbarian arrival, but when strategies collide, will anyone be ready? Will anyone be safe?