Griffins lounged all around them, inscrutable as cats, brazen as summer. They turned their heads to look at Kes out of fierce, inhuman eyes.... Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand. The course of Kes' life seems set: she'll grow up to be an herb-woman and healer for the village of Minas Ford, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted. And she's content with that path - or she thinks she is. Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains....
In Feierabiand, in the wide green Delta, far from the burning heat of the griffin's desert, Mienthe's peaceful life has been shaken. Tan - clever, cynical, and an experienced spy - has brought a deadly secret out of the neighboring country of Linularinum. Now, as three countries and two species rush toward destruction, Mienthe fears that even her powerful cousin, Bertaud, may be neither able nor even willing to find a safe path between the secret Linularinum would kill to preserve and the desperate ferocity of the griffins.
"Storyline a disappointment"
Gereint Enseichen of Casmantium knows little and cares less about the recent war in which his king tried to use griffins and fire to wrest territory from the neighboring country of Feierabiand...but he knows that his kingdom's unexpected defeat offers him a chance to escape from his own servitude. But now that the griffins find themselves in a position of strength, they are not inclined to forgive, and the entire kingdom finds itself in deadly peril.