The Letherii Empire is in turmoil. Rhulad Sengar, the Emperor of a Thousand Deaths, spirals into madness, while the Errant, once a farseeing god, appears suddenly blind to the future. Driven by the corruption and self-interest, the empire edges ever-closer to all-out war with its neighbouring kingdoms. And the great Edur fleet draws ominously ever closer. With Karsa Orlong and Icarium Lifestealer among its warriors, that blood will be spilled is certain. But a band of fugitives look to escape from Lether. One of them, Fear Sengar, seeks the soul of Scabandari Bloodeye, for he hopes that with its help, they might halt the Tiste Edur and so save the emperor, his brother. But another is Scabandari's old enemy: Silchas Ruin, brother of Anomander Rake. He carries scars inflicted by Scabandari, and such bloodshed cannot go unanswered. There is to be a reckoning and it will be on an unimaginable scale...