The Adderhead – his immortality bound in a book by Meggie's father, Mo – has ordered his henchmen to plunder the villages. The peasants' only defence is a band of outlaws led by the Bluejay – Mo's fictitious double, whose identity he has reluctantly adopted. But the Book of Immortality is unravelling, and the Adderhead again fears the White Women of Death. To bring the renegade Bluejay back to repair the book, the Adderhead kidnaps all the children in the kingdom, dooming them to slavery in his silver mines unless Mo surrenders. First Dustfinger, now Mo: Can anyone save this cursed story?