In the world of Anmaere, north of the city of Whithren, wild horses run through the moorlands and up the coast. These horses are the city's most valuable export, and as a result are hunted, trapped, sold and shipped across the sea once a year. For those in Whithren, this trade passage creates lucrative and exciting possibilities: the chance to escape their constantly sweltering city to head to the Western continent of Levithen, or just to begin again. Meanwhile, in a small house just north of the city, a young woman dies in childbirth. Her last words are an attempt to tell her daughter of the life she'll have and her inheritance of a recurring dream that must be kept secret; for it contains the memories of another age long before us, one where magic and myth were alive in the world.
That daughter now left behind is Moira. She grows alone in Whithren, without anyone to explain her dream, her unique difference, or her place in the world. As a result, she resolves to leave Whithren at all costs, and employs the help of Lawrence, a wounded young man engaged in the criminal enterprise of stealing tickets.
This begins a series of events that echo over the next thirty-five years of their life, the life of a child found screaming on the rocks, and through the alleys and coasts of Whithren; a city hidden in the fog, wanting in heat, now beginning again.