S. Mortimer Bookin is curious. It's what makes him such a good scholar. He's curious about the world around him, about his dead parents, about what it might be like to meet another Contrary man like himself. Then roguish and Contrary Kai warrior Prince Allender shows up on his doorstep, and Mortimer is entranced. The catch? Allender comes with baggage: a host of Contrary youths he wants to train in the ways of the Kai brotherhood... with Mortimer as their teacher.
Mortimer’s curiosity and growing fascination with Allender trump his love of routine, and he commits to a perilous journey to obtain the Kai Overlord’s blessing for the school. It’s a quest that will take him from home to the Zu-Kai Isle, on to the frozen north, and all the way to the mystical Dragon Isle. Mortimer and Allender grow closer with each mile, but when Allender is injured, it will fall to Mortimer to lead their ragtag brotherhood to procure the overlord’s price—the tears of a dragon.