The Magenta has returned to the shores of England, carrying young Kate, her friend Thomas and the ship's charismatic owner, Jacob Crane, up the Thames. They have recently escaped the sorcerer Demurral, and Kate searches the waves for a sign of their friend Raphah, lost to the sea. But further trouble awaits them in London, where their beloved ship is seized. Meanwhile, figures stir on the shores further north. Beadle, Demurral's one time servant, has survived, while other shadows from Jacob and Kate's past are also awakening. Has Demurral really been vanquished forever? Who is the lady who haunts the roads south? What is the hidden secret of Salmander Street.