When Flint Fireforge, dwarf and metalsmith, receives a wondrous summons from the Speaker of the Sun, he journeys to the fabled elven city of Qualinost. There he meets Tanis, a thoughtful youth born of a tragic union between elf and man. Tanis and Flint, each a misfit in his own way, find themselves unlikely friends.But a pompous elf lord is mysteriously slain, and another elf soon meets the same fate. Tanis stands accused, and if his innocence cannot be proven, the half-elf will be banished forever.
The tempestuous affair of Kitiara Uth Matar and Tanis Half-Elven begins with the sword. Life isn't simple for the hotheaded pair. They must contend with a carnivorous, two-headed troll; a deposed leader who believes Kitiara is the cause of the ruler's troubles; a vindictive mage who seeks peculiar vengeance; and Kit's hulking former lover. They also meet a beautiful magic-user hiding a painful secret, and a giant owl with a sardonic sense of humor.