What makes a Singer? Voice, courage, determination, passion? Rialle was to discover which of them she possessed and which she needed to find in order to win against the evil forces that were determined to take over her home.

But Rialle didn’t want to explore the beach, even though it was a beautiful day and a few hours of freedom sounded enticing. Her head was pounding, the pain cutting through her body like a knife. She dropped to her knees in the wet sand, her long Singer-Blue hair falling around her in tangles. There was something in the sea, far away, that sang to her. The pain in her head increased until she thought she would scream. But just as she was sure she could stand it no longer, the pain shattered into words in her head. Fragments of song echoed in her mind, a frightening, haunting song, one she’d never heard before. “Danger! Strange ships sailing! Children dying, children eaten...”

Rialle looked around her, slowly becoming aware of the gusty wind and sheeting rain. She turned and trudged through the sand, heading for the Five Thousand Steps and the glistening blue towers where the Singers and their students lived. She had no idea how her life would change because of what she’d heard, nor how that fragment of song would lead her into adventures and dangers she’d never imagined, show her an evil more powerful than she’d ever known, test her in ways she never dreamed of, and take her life apart and put it together again in a whole new pattern.