The Curse shaped Aster's life from birth. At first, she believed her father was its only victim, and determined to save him from it. In doing so she learned that the Curse had stricken everyone in the magical realms known as the Kingdoms - and that, in an attempt to protect her, her father had himself created it. Now he is dead, a victim of his own sorcery. But the Curse has not ended with him. Her father's actions, his dread spell, were only the shadows cast by a much deeper, older conflict, which is now unwinding the universe itself.
As the sun fades and the stars wink out, Aster must follow a clue from her dead father to the highest, furthest domain - beyond the fairy-tale kingdoms, through fantastic and terrifying realms of gods and demons, to the very source of reality, the beginning and ending of everything. There she might finally set things right. Her path is narrow, and the sacrifices necessary for even a tiny chance at success are unacceptable.
For the Curse has also released a rot at the very heart of the High and Faraway, an evil more ancient than time itself. It is against this unwavering malevolence that Aster, Errol, Billy, Dusk and Delia must pit themselves. They must do so without their friend Veronica, a girl murdered decades before and brought back to life by Aster's magic. For as Veronica discovers her own vast power, she stares into the face of the enemy and sees in it her true self . . .
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