Hunted by her own kind as a traitor, Zara travels to the Maker World with the last of the Knowledge Seekers of Asphodel, non-magic commoners who have rebelled against their mage overlords.
Knowing she faces persecution and death if her identity becomes known in the Maker city of Gengst-on-the-Wall, Zara lives a life of pretence, secrecy and isolation. Her dearest hopes and dreams are challenged when she must learn to live without magic, and to accept that Maker society is not the utopia of which she has long dreamt.
She has fallen in love with the Maker boy, Aidan, a talented engineer. But as Aidan and Philip, the leader of the Knowledge Seekers, work together building war machines powerful enough to change the course of history and bring the centuries-long war between the mages and the non-magic Makers to a grisly end, Zara finds her loyalties and love tested to the breaking point.
Her relationship with Aidan flounders, and when she is assaulted and forced to use her magic to defend herself, Zara's identity is discovered and she must flee to save her life.
Alone and friendless, Zara returns to Asphodel. There, she must face the evil that is her heritage, uncover the truth behind the childhood tragedy that haunts her, and find the strength to believe in her talent as a mage . . . and in her own integrity.