Sorceress Illyse prefers to isolate herself from the age-old conflict between her coven and the humans of Sjökanten, but not at the expense of her own life. Captured by the king's men, she is threatened with the ultimate demise for sorceresses—being forever imprisoned in ore—unless she manages to put an end to the gruesome murders of human citizens at the hands of a mysterious sea creature.
Bound by an iron band that limits her power, Illyse, and her fox familiar, join with Garit Darling, a medical practitioner and an enigma unto himself. Together, they delve deep into forgotten lore and forbidden romantic entanglements, despite a ban on relationships between sorceresses and humans. However, when it is discovered that Garit's past is more closely tied to their investigation than either initially realizes, soon their passion and distraction from the crimes may just be at the cost of Illyse's potential freedom... and Garit's life.