Rafe's first dozen years were brutal, defined by privation in the slums of the free city Haven. When Maestro Servio, Haven's finest shipwright, offers the boy a position as an apprentice, Rafe finds himself bewildered and confused by a world he's never hoped to enter, and suffering nightmares, memories of the past he only wants to leave behind. In order to survive, he relies desperately on his fellow apprentice, Tyver. As they enter adulthood together, Rafe realizes that his friendship with Tyver has grown into something deeper. He dreams of making Tyver his lover, but before that dream can come true, Rafe must set aside lessons of pain and fear that he's learned all too well, and instead learn to trust not only Tyver, but himself.