Full winter in the weald: this is a season of almost unsurvivable cold for anyone foolish enough to venture outside. Even wyrmes die, frozen in the icy wasteland, or falling lifeless from the skies as the host heads west to escape the advance of the two-hides. Huddled in a winter den, Micah is thankful to cragclimber Eli Halfwinter for providing him and kingirl Thrace with shelter, while Thrace aches to leave and fly through the skies on her whitewyrme once more. But sniffing out their whereabouts, fuelled by the invigorating liquor known as bloodhoney, is a brutal assassin, seeking vengeance. And worse is to come when they stumble upon a bizarre community headed by a charismatic stone prophet.