A month after the destruction at Boreton Turnout, the Rhomandi brothers Deymorin, Mikhyel, and Nikaenour along with Deymorin's companion, Kiyrstin, return to Rhomatum only to be immediately arrested on entering the city. It is feared that they might be impostors wanting to make mischief now that the Ley-web has become damaged, or that the real brothers have returned with the machine that can harness lightning and so cause even more damage. A night passes, and Nikaenour, upon his release, demands that his wife, Lidye, have the others set free, too. Mostly, the arrests have been a nuisance, but Mikhyel has fallen victim to the prisoner Ganfrion, who forces him to perform sexual acts and which Ganfrion uses to blackmail Mikhyel into promising future favours.
The brothers discover that Anheliaa, the ringmaster, is slowly dying. And the city council are demanding an explanation regarding the state of the Ley-web, and what is intended to be done about it. Mikhyel and Kiyrstin set the council's immediate fears to rest. But it falls to Mikhyel and Deymorin to attend to the outer nodes' confidence in the Rhomandi, and rally the troops in case of attack from their old adversary the Mauritumin, and their Northern Crescent allies.
Like its predecessor, Ring of lightning, this book concerns itself ( even more so now that the number of direct associations have increased), with how the principal characters see themselves in relation to one another and the outside world; human, and non-human; politically, familially, and magically. This makes for an interesting mix of romance, and vested interests, which I found to be gritty, subtle in its development of plot line, and at times, appropriately humorous. So anyone who likes their fantasy more involving than usual, should find this book, along with its stablemates, good reading.