Arran Swinn knows a thing or two about nightmares. After all, they killed his father. When the sun goes down, the Siheldi come out, and surviving the demonic onslaught until daybreak can be little more than a gamble without the right protection.
The only foolproof remedy is red iron, a rare mineral worth its weight in diamonds to the sprawling city of Paderborn. It’s worth even more to the Guild of Miners, which keeps a hawkish eye on its wares, often leaving the poor and the unfortunate ripe for the picking in the screaming dark.
But thanks to a little daring and a dash of luck, Arran can provide his own sort of protection these days – for the right fee. Guiding seagoing merchants along the haunted trade routes is easy money…right up until he takes on a secretive passenger who proves to be almost as bad as the Siheldi themselves.
With the daylight fading and the ocean rising, Arran finds himself saddled with a dangerous cargo, a bargain for his soul that he can’t hope to keep, and the unwelcome scrutiny of Megrithe Prinsthorpe, a tenacious Guild inspector intent on seeing him hang for his misdeeds.
After uncovering a plot that could replace the Siheldi with something much worse, he is pursued by the ocean-dwelling neneckt into a world drowning in its own deceit. At the last moment, when all bargains are off and all luck has faded, Arran must decide just how much he’s willing to sacrifice to the spirits that have had him marked out since the night his father’s death changed his world forever.