'The Cloudmaster and his stormlords command wealth and power. But can they save themselves from a rogue rainlord? Terelle is on the run when an old man with the ability to paint pictures on water employs her as his apprentice -- and paints her portrait. She thinks she is safe, until she discovers his floating artworks can fix an immutable future for those portrayed in them. She has become a prisoner of her own painted future.
The Cloudmaster and his stormlords keep the land alive with their power over water and rain. However, the current Cloudmaster is dying and has no stormlord heir because all the promising young men and women have died in troubling circumstances. An expedition mounted to scour the countryside for a potential stormlord locates a young village lad called Shale. Kidnapped and imprisoned, Shale finds himself a tool in a struggle between the warring factions of the land -- because whoever commands a stormlord, commands the water of a nation ...' Source: ww.harpercollins.com.au/ (Sighted 19/10/2009).