Only a fool would ask what strange providence, amid an inferno of scorching heat and splintered rock, saw to the care of the cool, well-watered municipality which is the City of the Iron Fish. The seafaring traditions of the City, the tang of salt in the air, are sustained by powerful magic, and by the bizarre ceremony of the Iron Fish.
But young Thomas Kemp is enraged by the City's contraditions – and, like a fool, sets out in search of an answer to the conundrum. Turning his back on the City, Thomas strides towards the limits of reality armed only with curiosity. It may kill him. Worse, it may not be enough.