Called to duty at last, Lieutenant John Nevis faces his assignment with trepidation. Boarding the USS Nicodemus—a sloop of war built in a single night at the top of the world—Nevis wonders uneasily at its strange aura of power, its cannonballs of virgin brass . . . and its uncanny ability to glide swiftly through the waters without steam or sail. As great armies clash all around them, the mission of Lieutenant Nevis and the Nicodemus crew is shrouded in an impenetrable gray mist of magic and malevolence. For a fearsome adversary awaits on roiling waves—an awesomely powerful vessel fueled by cruelty and terror; a demon raider driven by an insatiable lust . . . for blood.