Divis, now freed from Pwykka, rejoins Cait in an unlikely partnership and Sawyer, now understanding the journey Cait must make, believes he will only slow her down, so goes his own way after a tearful farewell. Four moons pass, and despite his best efforts to bestow his knowledge and skills on Cait, their partnership is floundering, and her guilt over leaving her blind father on his own has driven her to despair. As she falls into an inescapable depression, Aulus recruits bounty hunters from overseas to find Cait, with one particular hunter, Hella, proving to be exceptionally dangerous. Elsewhere, the siege of the Cantii citadel is in full swing. Reaching a stalemate, the war between the Regni and the Cantii has become a battle of wills between sworn enemies Kerra and Antedia, with neither queen willing to budge. With the war looking to stretch into the cold, long winter, Antedia plays her trump card: they have a man on the inside. Someone very close to Kerra.