Three young people are caught up in the upheaval caused by the death of the King. City states, secret societies, thieves and warlords battle for power and strings are pulled by a hidden menace.
Sofia is a petty thief kept out of prison by her father, an officer in the city guard. Desperate to improve her chances for a secure future, he exposes her to the Duke, the sinister ruler of the city. Blackmailed into joining the Duke’s network of spies, Sofia must find a way to escape and find sanctuary.
Smuggled out of the city with her friend, Book, she is lost in a violent storm and captured by a monstrous creature on his own mission to recover a document full of deadly inventions and prevent it falling into the wrong hands. While war rages and Book uncovers the terrible secrets of the manuscript, Sofia discovers a fading civilisation of bizarre, intelligent beasts and is drawn into twisted conspiracies and a race against time to save a young shepherdess, Hal, who is being eaten alive in the belly of the monster. Hal, Book and Sofia are drawn back to the besieged city and must develop new skills, discover family secrets, make uncomfortable new friendships to survive among the terrors of human sacrifice, weapons of mass destruction and the threat of war between the species.