Cursed to take lives for the God of Death. Sorcerers must give up things and people they love, or accept things they despise, to gain magical power. The sorcerer Bib saves his daughter by accepting a curse to murder people, and only Death knows how many Bib must kill. He tries to slay only evil people, but soon finds he's also killing people who are merely bad, or who might someday become bad. Bib chases a brutal sorcerer to help a woman rescue her boy, mainly because he expects a lot of killing. But he doesn't expect to unearth obscure magic, enslave spiteful supernatural beings, and strike ghastly bargains with the childish gods. And the last thing he expects is to face the question--is he a good man cursed to crave murder, or has he always been a murderer at heart?