Killed by the power of the god Zezeth, his true father, Lionwolf has been cast into a bleak and icy hell lit just by a cold blue sun. Here he and others of the living dead must wage endless combat and war, to appease the whim of a deathly King whose face is made of stone. But when Lionwolf encounters the King's wife, she is none other than the beautiful, god-fashioned Chillel, his own former lover – and nemesis.
As Lionwolf struggles in the toils of Hell, elsewhere in the hell-cold ice-age of the mortal earth, men and women work out their own destinies. An empire has fallen. Ru Karismi, Capital of the Kings, has been abandoned to the poisons of the White Death. Reivers cross the lands of the Jafn and the Ruk, preying wherever they wish. Against this unsettled backdrop, Jemhara the sorceress determines to save the Magician Thryfe from a dire self-inflicted punishment, and Saphay, now a goddess of the far north, seeks to lead her people to a new world. And from the depths of an ice-locked sea Zezeth's other terrifying son, the mountainous whale-leviathan Brightshade, is once more rising for vengeance.