Glass turns to flesh as DarkGlass Mountain rouses from its restless sleep to walk the land and plot the downfall of the Lord of Elcho Falling. Ishbel and Maximilian, now utterly estranged, ride for Serpent's Nest, not realising that at their backs a cadre of traitors plot their death. Axis once more takes command of the Strike Force, but it is not enough to save him from the gallows of Isaiah's generals, nor from the lover who betrays him. In Isembaard the Skraelings run amok, but they will not touch the sole survivor from the slaughter of Aqhat, who walks north with a mysterious relic of Ashdod's past. Over all hover the Lealfast, ancient creatures who hide many secrets and possess a sorcery so ancient and malignant that it threatens to curse Elcho Falling as soon as the twisted citadel rises.