The Golden General's curse has at last been lifted from the royal family of Chalion. However, despite being freed from years of ghostly torment, life for Ista, the Dowager Royina has not improved much. With the death her mother, the Provincara, and with her surviving child, Iselle, now ruling Chalion from the capital Cardegross, she is left without purpose. Her mother's family still believe she is insane and aim to keep her locked up to avoid social embarrassment, but Ista craves freedom and begins to plan how this may become reality. A pilgrimage dedicated to her mother's soul seems the perfect pretence for Ista to escape her confinement; but as the journey unfolds, she senses that the gods still linger about her and it is not long before her worst fears are confirmed: her torment is not over, only postponed.,. the gods have not finished with her yet.