Murder came to the lords of the Silone Clans upon the Eve of Snows, and the survivors scattered to the sea in a desperate journey to safety. They surrendered Kaludor, their island and home, to the demonic Shadows of Man and the Taken they possess.
Eliles and the twenty souls who stayed behind on Herald's Watch, surrounded by a tower of impenetrable fire, find they are not alone. Ivin, along with other surviving Silone lords, negotiate a desperate peace with the Hidreng of the Hundred Nations, a bargain which could cost his people the Seven Heavens and forfeit his soul. Solineus travels to bargain a treaty with the Edan of the Mother Wood to protect the Silone from the Hidreng. His journey will return him to the frozen Treaty Lands and the Tomb of the Touched. Meliu once again holds the Codex of Sol, and even as she questions her faith in the gods, she finds that her prayers have their favor: She's more powerful than she ever imagined, but it's a power with a terrible risk.
The Silone people are desperate for peace, desperate for food and shelter to survive the coming winter. What they desire is to return victorious to their homeland, but their hope and refuge lies at the end of a path which will leave their dead burning behind them: The Trail of Pyres.