The hunter has become the hunted, as the Assassin Without a Name is forced from his usual haunts by Gwendolyn Goddard and her Black Guard watchdogs. On the run and out of patience, a welcome distraction arrives in the form of an old flame, Elizabeth West, who recruits him for a special Warder mission. The fanatical Jakaree are on the move, searching for an ancient relic so diabolical, the Warders are intent on destroying it before the zealots can lay a hand on it.
But the Assassin Without a Name soon learns that Elizabeth has something bigger in mind. Suspicious of her employer's true motives, she sets out to uncover the truth, leading them on a harrowing escapade across Alchester's rooftops, deep beneath the city's once grand temples, and into the sky onboard a Warder airship.