It started with the bards, the kigh elementals, and a madman who could sing the Fifth Quarter, who could sing the dead out of their graves. But it really began with a brother and sister, Bannon and Vree, the fines team of Imperial assassins ever trained, and with Gyhard, the man who stole Bannon's body from him. When Bannon finally found a way to reclaim what was his, Gyhard discovered a haven with Vree, the two of them sharing her body in an uneasy alliance.
Now the mismatched pair have journeyed from the heart of the Empire to the neighboring kingdom of Shkoder in the desperate hope that the bards will be able to find Gyhard a body of his own without anyone dying so he can survive.
But there are those who have other plans for Vree and Gyhard - from the Emperor intent on wreaking vengeance against the man who lead a rebellion him; to Vree's brother Bannon, who wants to punish Gyhard for stealing first his body and then his sister; to the dangerous old man who can force the dead to "live" and will stop at nothing to reclaim Gyhard - no matter whose body he's in.