In an ocean of weightless air, where sunlight has never been seen, only the running lights of the city of Pacquaea glitter in the dark. One woman, Leal Hieronyma Maspeth, history tutor and dreamer, lives and dreams of love among the gaslit streets and cafes. And somewhere in the abyss of wind and twisted cloud through which Pacquaea eternally falls, a great voice has begun speaking. As its cold words reach even to the city walls - and as outlying towns and travelers' ships start to mysteriously disappear - only Leal has the courage to try to understand the message thundering from the distance.
Even the city's most famous and exotic visitor, the sun lighter and hero named Hayden Griffin, refuses to turn aside from his commission to build a new sun for a foreign nation. He will not become the hero that Leal knows the city needs; so in the end, it is up to her to listen, and ultimately reply, to the worldwasp.