In the country, fishing boats return with their crews mysteriously vanished while farms are left empty, their owners gone into the night, meals still on the table. In the cities, children disappear from the streets or even out of their own beds. The King tells his people that it is the work of selkies – mythical creatures who can turn from seals into men and back again – and witches. But no matter how many women he burns at the stake, the children are still being taken.
Fallon is a man who has always dreamed of being a hero. His wife Bridgit just wants to live in peace and quiet, and to escape the tragedies that have filled her life. His greatest wish and her worst nightmare are about to collide.
When an empty ship sails into their village, Fallon follows the trail to the truth behind the evil stalking their land. But it is a journey that will take them both into a dark, dark place and nobody can tell them where it might end ...
With a growing fear that King Aidan has dark plans for him, a grief-stricken Fallon is forced to obey the ruler's every whim as he tries to find a way out of Aidan's impossible trap.
Meanwhile, Bridgit is struggling with the ghosts of her past, but she cannot let them distract her: freeing herself and her fellow slaves from Kotterman is her only hope of being reunited with her husband and son.
Above their plights, the cogs of empire continue to turn. What is the significance of the Kottermani prince's mysterious visit to Gaelland?
This epic fantasy is perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Joe Abercrombie.