As Book 2 begins, the mastermind behind decades of extortion and murder is finally imprisoned, and the citizens of Sanctuary go back to their normal lives. There is a growing movement for social reform, including the relaxation of laws regulating marriage and assets ownership. Traditionalists fear this will lead to their society’s disintegration and counter with greater restrictions. As tensions rise, a university professor is suspected of destroying historical records, a father is pressured to cut ties to a beloved daughter who has eloped, and an otherwise rational young man worries that his new wife’s seizures are of a diabolic origin. Violence erupts once again in a land that has forbidden it. A bloody coup attempt at the palace is put down, but more insidious threats remain as shadowy organizations take root.