In this sweeping sequel to the critically acclaimed Cold Iron—which NPR Books raved, “reminded me, pleasurably, of Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice series”—the Kingdom of Eledore has fallen and Nel and Suvi lead a diaspora of their people to safety, but the magic that has kept the demon forces away is dwindling, and they must find a new way to protect themselves.
The Acrasian army has swept through Eledore, nearly massacring the entire race in fear and hatred of the magic they possess. This same magic is all that was keeping the demon incursion at bay, but now the great evil that was banished is seeping into the world. Watchers are formed to warn of any sightings of the demons, but little can be done if one encounters them in shadow or at night.
Meanwhile, Nels leads a precious few hundred survivors of Eledore through the wilds, hoping to find solace and rebuild their civilization while his twin sister, Suvi, seeks allies at sea.
There is hope, born in the ashes of this devastation—a hope that Eledorian magic can grow, but only if they survive.