A Spies of Dregiol novel. Salya's life is made of simple things; a dance around a bonfire, the small blue flowers that grow by the road, a pledge to become a healer like her grandmother before her, the caravan of wagons wending their way over the cold mountain passes. But then she finds the half-dead man in the bushes by the stream in the middle of the night. "Bren," he tells her before succumbing to blood poisoning, and his disease is not the only thing Salya and her small band of traders find they are fighting. Where before the nights were quiet, there are secret police. Where before the forests were filled with birds, now there is a dark figure following the wagon train as it wends through the cold mountain passes. Slowly, Salya pieces the story together. Bren is a spy with information about an assassination attempt on the queen of the white city, and now he is too injured to take the news across the mountains alone. Salya must choose: let Bren journey to the kingdom of Dregiol, alone, hunted, and wounded; or abandon her family in the scant hope that together they will be able to save the kingdom before the assassins strike.