Nissa is the smallest cobra born of an aging queen. Her size, unmarked hood, and dull scales are the subject of much torment from her siblings. All of the the royal slither have been schooled by One-Fang, the oldest and wisest cobra, for one of them will rise to become the new queen. Despairing, Nissa chooses to follow the path taken by her teacher in his youth and venture forth amongst men.
It has been many years since the village found an oracle. The strange creature, with scales like a dragon, is said to have the power of prophecy and to make strong and wise any who would eat it. Suah's father, Rashidi, is the village medicine man and would offer up the oracle in sacrifice to the elders. Suah, however, has different plans, and soon he and the oracle are struggling for survival in the wilds, far from home, with only each other to rely on.
Very few denizens of the reef do not fear the octopus. All the fear that Umbra inspires in others however, does not compare to the fears she herself harbors. She prefers the shadows and is content to be shunned, for she knows that in the sea there are real monsters to fear and solitude and darkness are ever her friends in avoiding them. Will Umbra have the courage to face those monsters when they finally come calling and threaten not only her, but all the reef as well?