Steph Swainston returns to the dazzling, dizzying world of the Fourlands with the audacious sequel to her acclaimed novels The Year of Our War and No Present Like Time. Jant Comet, the messenger, has survived deadly insects, internecine politics, and even his own debilitating, life-threatening addiction. But now he faces a challenge greater than any he has met in the last several centuries, one that could shake the foundations of the Fourlands forever. For the Emperor himself is riding to the front, and nothing is as it seems . . .