Swänn et Liz are pursued by Skuälls poachers, responsible for the death of the Hamilton family. Swänn confronts the realities of the war and readies himself to announce the news of the casualties to their families. And yet, there is hope for Liz. In the meantime, on Näkän, debates about funding for the Renaissance expedition continue and, oddly enough, Skuäll diplomacy takes on an usually important role. This masterful volume concludes the first story cycle in this gripping series.