At the beginning of Spring, 1228, Viola despairs of the singer obtained for her by Bogdan and Godzimir over the winter, and as soon as the ice along the northern coast has thawed, she sets out for Chersonesus, with Theodoric (valued for his local knowledge), Bogdan, Godzimir, and the disappointing singer, Antonio, in tow. One thing leads to another, and they find an entrance to a faerie regio in the middle of town. Inside the regio, they find a suitable singer who knows both Kipchak and Greek--she's entered the regio by faking her own death (the regio key involves a funeral procession), bringing her brother (a musician) and a trio of friends with her.
Getting Ipek and her companions back out proves tricky: the regio in question is devoted to reenacting an ancient event in which foreigners who betrayed the city (one of them had married a local noble) are burned out of their house and slain. Viola uses magic to bring this event to a suitably violent resolution, only to discover that exiting the regio will require the citizens of "Chersonesus" to break their oath to bury Gykia within the city walls, rather that some distance away, in the necropolis, as is the city's custom.