Apprentice wizard Adramal is now a detective with the City Watch. But someone wants her dead - during a routine investigation, she is poisoned, and only her magic and quick thinking save her life.
Her father suspects followers of the evil god Zorian are to blame. He insists Adramal leave for the island kingdom of Salmar, beyond Zorian's influence, while the Watch investigates. The Salmarian priests trick her into revealing herself as a wizard and sentence her to death for practicing magic.
Desperate, she chooses to assist a plague-stricken village rather than be executed. But not all the villagers welcome her help, and Zorian's reach may well be longer than she thought....