Now aged sixteen, Annat is living in the city of Masalyar and training as an apprentice shaman. Struggling with the pangs of first love and a wish for freedom, she is horrified to see the crows flying over her city. Something she thought destroyed for ever has risen again: a spectre from the past.
When her brother disappears, she and her aunt set out to find out what has become of him. But Annat is caught and imprisoned in the Glass Mountain, a place from legend.
A powerful Magus needs their souls and their father's heart to cast his greatest spell, to bring a dead man to life. Unless he can be stopped, Annat, her brother and their father will die; and the country will be overthrown.
But there is something hidden in the Mountain that will change their lives. They must fight to protect their own world, and to save another: one so small it can be hidden in a suitcase.
Still half in a sleep, Semyon stumbled out of bed, clawing his shirt from the chair beneath the window. As he struggled with the latch to the shutters, he glimpsed Sarl’s form rising fully clad from the mattress where he had not slept, like a corpse rising stark out of a coffin. Grimacing, the Magus flung open the shutters and squinnied out into the street beyond. That cursed innkeeper had given them a room high up, almost under the eaves, but not so high that he could sneak to the girl’s room unnoticed.
He had not been dreaming. The scream echoed again, fresh and sharp as a vixen’s bark in the night. Swearing to himself, Semyon rubbed his eyes and saw the two figures in the street below before Sarl pushed him aside. The shock of the third shaman’s power was like a salt-water drenching; he saw Sarl flinch, and took secret satisfaction in knowing that even his imperturbable enemy was startled. How could it be that someone so strong had shared the same city with them undetected? They should have begun the search last night, instead of yielding to the blandishments of sleep and food. He forced himself into the gap between Sarl and the window-frame, however much he hated to touch the dead man.
‘Jean Sorel,’ cried the girl, more weakly this time. She was lying sprawled on the cobbles, bleeding from her nose, a sight that gave Semyon unexpected pleasure; someone else had taught her not to be so haughty! Standing over her was a figure in a black gabardine coat, his long hair uncovered in the morning cold. Semyon searched the street for a glimpse of the shaman whose power had startled him awake, but there was no one else to be seen; only the girl lying on the ground, and the small man. Sarl was gripping the window ledge, his knuckles white.
‘Yes, come out, Jean Sorel,’ called the man from the street below. ‘Come and see what I’ve brought you,’ and he gave the girl’s prone body a kick. Sarl took a pace back from the window, shading his eyes as if he had seen a blinding light.