In the world of Eora, everybody is concerned with the business of souls. The recent discovery of soul-matter as a quantifiable object - which can be measured, stored, or moulded - has given rise to a contentious field of study, animancy. Upon death, all souls pass through "the Wheel", a form of reincarnation. It's possible, although rare, to "awaken" memories of one's past life - individuals with this ability are known as Watchers.
Now, a new Watcher has appeared in the Dyrwood, the victim of a mysterious magical ritual with the ability to see, shape, and commune with the souls of the dead. As they attempt to investigate the cause of their newfound powers, the Watcher's actions help determine the future of Eora - including the fate of several hundred stolen Hollowborn souls. Their progress is helped - and, in some cases, hindered - by Eora's eleven gods.