Roo Avery, recently returned from a harrowing brush with the armies of the Emerald Queen, is now free to choose his own destiny and his ambition is to become one of the most powerful and rich merchants in Midkemia. But nothing prepares him for the dangers of this new life, where the demand for the payment of a debt can be as deadly as a knife in the shadows. Even those closest to him are suspect and as Roo struggles to build his financial empire, betrayal is ever close at hand and he soon realises the road to success is far from smooth. While he works towards his goal, the memory of the distant forces of darkness are never far away. The war with the Emerald Queen is not over and the inevitable confrontation will be the biggest threat yet to his new found wealth and power.