The people of Aramanth have been enslaved by the army of the Mastery, led by Marius Ortiz. If they disobey their masters, a member of their community is burned in an iron cage before their eyes. Only Kestrel Hath, daughter of Ira and Hanno Hath, escapes the armies and rescues the silver voice from the burnt wind singer. Following the instinctive call of her twin brother Bowman across the desert, Kestrel meets Sisi, the spoilt Johdila engaged by her parents to Marius Ortiz. Kestrel becomes Sisi's closest friend and begins to open her eyes to another world. Bowman, who has been training his mind to move objects, has also caught the attention of Marius and has been engaged as his 'truth teller'. Their friend Mumpo has been perfecting the art of the killing dance of the Mastery, the manaxa, and finally kills the city's champion. In a whirlwind climax, Bowman comes face to face with the Master himself and the terrifying Morah is once again unleashed. The Hath family, and those that believe the words of the prophetess Ira Hath, leave the Mastery and begin a journey to the homeland.