Young rebel composer Amaru Khassian flees from religious persecution to peaceful Tourmalise. Crippled by horrible burns, he can no longer write down his stirring, seditious music — until he meets Orial, a girl with a unique gift that enables her to “hear” the sounds in other people’s minds. Khassian’s music could inspire his countrymen to overthrow their oppressors. But there is a price on the young composer’s head, and it’s not long before Acir Korentan, an agent of the brutal regime in Allegonde that has tried to repress Khassian’s music, tracks him down. Now Orial is in danger too — and not just from the fanatical agents from Allegonde. As antiquarians uncover mysterious traces of an ancient civilisation in Tourmalise, she begins to suffer disturbing and revelatory visions. The excavations may reveal the true purpose of her gift — but is her sanity too great a price to pay? Can Orial use her gift to save Khassian and his people before it drives her mad?