In the mighty Hamilayan Empire, no one is safe. Empress Lerena Kevlern is consolidating her power over the nations of Hamilay and Rivald, using human sacrifice to gain overwhelming control of the Sefid, the source of all magic. But soon her focus will shift across the ocean to the New Land, and the colonial city of Kydan. In the New Land, across the Deepening Sea, the people of Kydan are working to change their home from modest beginnings to a trading empire - the only way they will be able to survive. Both the Hamilayan Empire and the once-independent kingdom of Rivald have already made attempts to claim the New Land for themselves. Strategos Galys Valera, the war leader of the colonists, knows Kydan must find a counter to the magic of the mighty Hamilayan Empire, for otherwise they will be defenseless against Hamilay's increasingly unbalanced Empress. Galys believes the answer can be found in the papers left behind by her murdered lover, Kitarya Albyn... but can that answer be found in time?