Julia, Kady, Penny and Quentin set out to find another spawn of Reynard as Kady struggles to reveal to Julia the consequences of her recent procedure. Quentin reluctantly enlists the help of Alice's Niffin to save the Brakebills gang by creating a word as bond spell with her...but quickly regrets it once realizing its true motives. With a war waging between Fillory and Loria and an unconscious High King Eliot, Julia takes matters into her own hands which puts Fillory, and Margo, in a difficult situation.
Dean Fogg and Professor Lipson attempt to rid Quentin of Alice's Niffin but he refuses to let Alice go. Meanwhile, with magic fading in Fillory, Eliot agrees to a risky duel with King Idri of Loria, in lieu of a war, in the hopes that it will gain the respect of the Fillorians in the process. Julia, Penny and Kady locate Reynard's son in an effort to lure Reynard to them. In the process, Julia uses Quentin in a way that shocks everyone involved, including herself.
The Royal Court of Fillory prepares for Eliot's nuptials as he endeavors to win over the Fillorians with the extravagant event. Penny begins his contractual obligations to the Neitherlands Library as Kady searches for any information about god killing. Quentin experiences a mind-bending vision while on a drug-laced trip that sends him and Julia on a mysterious quest.
A crisis comes to a head when the true power behind the troubles comes to party. Battles are won and wars are lost, as Q and the others must protect their kingdom. Alice makes a startling revelation and things may never be the same.