Earlier, in the magical realm of Nesht, Mayra ara’Ferren, a powerful Ring-Witch, and her Clan, were tasked to investigate deadly attacks on the kingdom by something dark and unknown. By defying her Clan and her King, Mayra discovered that their attackers were enslaved dragons. With her sword, her powerful magic, and fierce witch-warriors to assist her, Mayra freed the dragons and helped them escape the clutches of a power-hungry king and a fanatical dragon. She quickly became the leader of her small band of witch-warriors. What none of the witches expected was how quickly and deeply they bonded with the bedraggled dragons they saved.
Enroute northward with the dragons, Mayra and her lover, Wolfe are leading the adventurous witch-warriors to the dragon’s home, a huge, stone Aerie to help dragon-leader Gaulte and the other rescued males liberate their mates and young ones. The missing dragons were taken by Hagan, an intensely evil dragon, and used as coercion to ensure obedience from the male dragons. But Hagan has taken more than females and young dragons; he has stolen something deeply magical—a talisman that only dragons can use to magnify and perform dragon magic. Valuable tool or deadly weapon—the object doesn’t distinguish good from evil, it is the intent of the dragon that decides whether it will benefit or destroy.
Meanwhile, Mayra wonders if she has made a terrible mistake. She had been with her Clan and its charismatic leader almost all her life—he is the father she never had. He betrayed her, but can she be a leader without his guidance?
Mayra has found her mate in fellow Ring-Witch Wolfe Sieryd, and her soulmate in the massive black dragon Gaulte. Wolfe, an assassin and wielder of powerful magic, is a strong shoulder to lean on for a new leader and a witch who isn’t always sure who her enemies are. And Gaulte, who still can’t quite grasp that a small human female rescued him, can only think about his stolen family. Mayra has mastered mind-speak—the art of varying levels of telepathy—and is resolute in rescuing Hesta, Gaulte’s mate, and their youngest nestling. He can’t help feeling affection for Mayra and his elder two nestlings already love her—but wait until Hesta, a fiery red dragon, finds out. Can she accept Mayra into this odd family group?
Hagan is a deeply evil dragon, stolen from his powerful and altruistic father, and raised by a gnome who taught him to hate all other dragons and humans. With a shapeshifting female and a gnome to assist him, Hagan will stop at nothing to prevent Mayra and Wolfe from saving the captured dragons and the magical talisman, even if he has to kill every dragon and every human in the cold north to do so.
When Mayra and Wolfe finally find Hagan, they quickly realize they and their witch-warriors are in for a battle even more challenging, and even less certain that the previous one. With Mayra still unsure whom to trust, she soon finds herself trapped in the depths of Hagan’s vast cavern home. Will she realize that a greedy female shapeshifter and a half-crazy gnome, who have duped Mayra with their pleas to help escape Hagan, might be just as dangerous as the evil dragon? And Hagan has no scruples, no pity, no conscience; he will torture and kill anyone to escape with the stolen talisman, no matter how long it takes and who must die to ensure that the magical talisman finds its way back into his long, covetous talons.