Colin fears for his younger sister, Etta, who has dreams that wake her in the night. For on the Isle of Ariban, imagination is outlawed, stories are banned, and dreams must die before they are spoken.
Colin’s fear grows when, on a hunt for salvage along the shore, he spies something strange amidst the debris. In a tangle of seaweed lies a pale hand. It belongs to a beautiful, barely alive young woman from a foreign land. And she clutches a small chest whose contents are more precious than gold or jewels—for this, she tells Colin, is the Story Box.