After a destructive battle, the ancient swaying city of Deepgate has been overtaken. Most of the chains that suspend it have given way, toxic fumes are emanating from blazing structures, and the temple once inhabited by the ruling Presbyter now dangles upside down above the once-uncharted abyss. The victorious Spine have initiated martial law and are ruthlessly pursuing all who attempt to leave. Amid the turmoil, two captives are returned.
Arriving by ship are the young angel Dill, now toughened by war, and traitor assassin Rachel Hael. Incarcerated in the slowly crumbling temple, the two await their fate, while from the abyss beneath them ghosts rise—for the death of the god Ulcis has left open the gates to Hell.
But on orders from his divine brethren, Cospinol, the god of brine and fog, is traveling the world to Deepgate to seal this breach. His great skyship is being dragged through the air by the giant John Anchor, a monster of a man enslaved to pull the god’s vessel, moving slowly, inevitably, toward the city.
As the city waits, teetering on the brink, myriad plans for vengeance are set in motion, from the continent of Pandemeria to Heaven itself. Among them is a ghostly archon sent to deliver a message to the gods on earth—using Dill as his vessel. Thrust from his body, Dill’s own soul returns to Hell. When Dill and Rachel are attacked by Spine assassins, Rachel has no choice but to try to escape with the creature that calls itself Dill…and to somehow find a way to restore her friend’s soul before it’s too late. For powerful forces are stirring, and in the coming battle between gods, it is the world of men that is at stake.