It is the aftermath of the Chain of Dogs. Coltaine is dead. And now the untried new Adjunct, Tavore, must urgently raise an army able to withstand the forces of the Sha'ik's Whirlwind that are massing in Raraku. The few remaining veterans from Coltaine's march are her only hope. This is the fourth book of the tale of the Malazan book of the fallen.