Chasing a dream of wealth and freedom, Raythe Vyre's ragtag caravan of refugees from imperial oppression went off the map, into the frozen wastes of the north. What they found there was beyond all their expectations: Rath Argentium, the legendary city of the long-vanished Aldar, complete with its fabled floating citadel. Even more unexpectedly, they encountered the Tangato, the remnants of the people who served the Aldar, who are shocked to learn that they're not alone in the world - and hostile to Raythe's interlopers. What awaits Raythe's people in the haunted castle that floats above them, the lair of the last Aldar king? Everlasting wealth - or eternal damnation?
Soldier, sorcerer and exiled nobleman Raythe Vyre has run out of places to hide. When the all-conquering Bolgravian Empire invaded, Raythe grabbed his daughter Zar and after taking part in a disastrous rebellion, they washed up on the edge of the continent. Now he's found a chance of redemption for himself and the precociously talented Zar: a map showing a hitherto unknown place that's rich in istariol, the rare mineral that fuels sorcery. Mining it will need people, but luckily there are plenty of outcasts, ne'er-do-wells and loners desperate enough to brave haunted roads through the ruins of an ancient, long-dead civilisation, to seek wealth and freedom.