In the world of magic oceans, the many suns have aligned to create a deadly heat wave that causes a burning sickness. The architect, Fantine, develops crystal barriers to protect against the peril. However, a flaw in the materials limits their use, leading her on a voyage to discover arcane knowledge and design a solution. The music scholar, Taesa, sings an uplifting song that heals many children of the infernal illness. Her voice is as enchanting as it is effective and gains the attention of dangerous people. The pirate, Captain Keallach, sells his very soul, bit by bit, to find the greatest sunken treasure of all. He confronts an imperial navy — and a mysterious woman with violet eyes — who lay claim to their share of the wealth. A clever freighter captain outmaneuvers the buccaneer, but then risks his life — and his soul — in a game of strategy against an even more dangerous adversary. Powers from beyond scheme against the world, and against each other, moving their pieces on a larger board. The Chronicler, Judith, witnesses the horrors and begins to falter under the emotional weight of having seen too many centuries of tragedy.
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