Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife Amily are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Justyn, has the Gift of animal Mindspeech, and his dream is to follow in his father's footsteps as a Herald Spy. Mags regularly trains his children, preparing them for the complicated lives they will likely lead. As the next stage of training, Mags proposes that Justyn joins a group of traveling players and musicians, to get experience out in the world.But during the troupe's travels, Justyn witnesses growing rural unrest about an indigenous community of Valdemar, known as Hawkbrothers. When the troupe settles for a season at a manor of a local lord, a child goes missing. The locals blame Hawkbrothers, and Justyn finds himself in a dangerous position.With the help of a local stray dog, Justyn must find the missing child and warn the Hawkbrothers community of the trouble headed their way-before tensions turn deadly.