Deep under the City of Glass in the frozen southern land, an age-old machine called the Heart of the City radiates a power which locals call icefire. Most citizens are immune to it, but a few, always born with disabilities, can bend it to their will. For fifty years, the ruling Eagle Knights have killed these Imperfects, fearing the return of the old royal family, who used icefire to turn people into ghostly servitors.
The old king's grandson Tandor only sees the good things icefire brought: technology now forgotten while the people of the south live in poverty. All he needs is an army of Imperfect servitors to bring glory back to the land.
Isandor is Imperfect, an ex-Knight apprentice, betrayed by his best friend.
The queen Jevaithi is Imperfect, living like a prisoner amidst leering Knights.
The youngsters, however, have no inclination to become heartless ghosts, but while they defy Tandor, the Heart beats, and he alone cannot control its power.
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