A generation after the events of The Long Earth, mankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping. Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. A new "America", called Valhalla, is emerging more than a million steps from Datum Earth and is growing restless under the control of the Datum government... Meanwhile the Long Earth is suffused by the song of the trolls, graceful hive-mind humanoids. But the trolls are beginning to react to humanity's thoughtless exploitation ... Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a gathering multiple crises that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any other.