Morrígan wants to become a mage, but her uncle, Yarlaith the White, refuses to train her.
Of course, he doesn't understand that the world is more dangerous than ever. Only days ago, her mother was killed by a mountain troll, and Morrígan was helpless to intervene.
Now, a small army has stationed themselves in Morrígan's village, sent by King Diarmuid. He claims that the Simian rebels to the north are threatening to attack the Human kingdom with their advanced weaponry, but there are some who question his motives.
Either way, machines are no match for magic, which is all the more reason for Morrígan to learn....
Meanwhile Farris, a Simian double-agent, uncovers plans that King Diarmuid is planning a pre-emptive strike on the Simian City of Steam. Farris embarks on an intrepid voyage across the kingdom, where he must choose between siding with his own people or preventing a brutal civil war.