The rebellion is won. Rhynn belongs to Rhynns again, and the rose is set to bloom. But rebuilding is proving harder than conquering.
"Confounding, isn't it?" said Nigel. "How much easier it is to take a thing apart than to put it back together?"
"I expected no less. I tore down a kingdom." Seth tugged off his gloves. "I can walk away after securing a better one in its place."
For Seth, that means setting the crown on someone else's head, and building walls to hide the secret no Rhynn could forgive. But his walls keep out more than he intended. After everything he fought for is stripped away, he realizes the will to choose is all that's left.
In Tallu, the Este are settling into a wary peace. Tobias is haunted by the hollow-eyed ghosts of the lost. Gone, but not forgotten. He embarks on a daring journey to the islands, and his search opens the door to the a shadowy world where every name matters. Can he find and release the caged storm before it's too late?
"Second chances are starker than the first. We know going in what losing will cost us." --Seth
Nigel travels to Tallu to honor Brynmohr's dying wish. Against all odds and despite his arrogance, when he counts all the children and grandchildren scattered from Rhynn to Tallu, Nigel finds himself the surrogate patriarch to what is likely the largest family any nene has ever known. He faces his past, questions his choices, and vows to make amends to those he wronged. But then, discovering the Dawnguard's darkest secret draws him back to Rhynn.
Nigel is no sooner gone than a couple of runaway Rhynns show up in Tallu. Ava and Rory find a new mentor for their mindgifts. Ava picks up where the story left off, while Lamochatee searches for the missing Ayohotulee. Will an unlikely bond bring a legend to life?
Mouse haunts the archives in La Gracia, waiting for her Reader to return. They try to convince her he is dead. Father says she is chasing a delusion. But it's hard to lie to a truthtaster.
Meanwhile, in Camran, a rogue mindrider is devouring embers to feed her powerful mindgift. Unrestrained by conscience or sanity, her twisted plan to survive the cycle's end draws the chalyns together for the final battle.
"We are two sides of a coin, a chalyn of war and peace." --Seth
The toughest challenge they face? Finding the enemy amidst the hollow monsters and wolves of straw.
"What we call life is not the only form life knows." --Amadeo
All the storylines woven through the Rootstock Saga come together in this fourth and final novel of the series.