Winter is here again, and once more the City of Turai is as cold as the Ice Queen's grave. Makri, still determined to continue her education, complains about the Guild College being closed, but Thraxas has no greater ambition than to sit in front of a warm fire, drinking beer. His rest is disturbed by the sorcerer Lisutaris, who believes that the city will soon come under attack from the Orcs. Against his will, Thraxas is drafted onto the war council, where he would be content to show his skill at the dinner table, until a senior member of the government is murdered. Thraxas finds himself dragged unwillingly into an investigation. That would be stressful enough, without Makri transforming his private office into a classroom offering literacy lessons to the poorest women in the city. Caught between the Orcish army, a political murder, and Makri's educational zeal, Thraxas starts to think there's no hope for the City of Turai. This is the seventh book in the Thraxas series.