Like all twins, Sayer and Aphra share a special bond. When, as children, they are abducted by soldiers and told that they will never see their parents or home again, that bond is strengthened even though their fortunes are very different. Sayer's talent as a Seeker makes him one of the most important men in Tirok, for using it he can locate the sacred fragments of the ruined Temple of Qara. But his greatest triumph, the recovery of one of the most important stones, is shattered when his beloved twin sister, Aphra, contracts the plague and is sent to the island colony of Jazireh. Investigating further, Sayer discovers secrets about his twin which will mean that he has no choice but to confront the powerful council of archivects. But Sayer has learned to enjoy the privileges of his position, and it now seems that he is in danger of losing everything he has valued.