Two hundred and fifty years ago, humans defeated the shape-changing Bhahdradomen in the War of the Silver Plains. Although they are exiled - or even thought to be extinct - the shape-changers' hatred and jealousy of the humans live on. Now, in the failings of a human king, they find a way to assuage that hatred. Meanwhile the third race, the mysterious Aelyr, although they also consider the Bhahdradomen enemies, keep apart from human realms.
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The war appears to be over. Helananthe, granddaughter of the mad king, Garnelys, has gathered her forces and reclaimed the Amber Citadel of Parione, defeating its evil Bhahdradomen advisers... but matters are never simple. The destinies of Tanthe and Ysomir, sisters whose journeys from their village home of Riverwynde had a massive impact on the war, have driven them apart. Ysomir is held in the Citadel, accused of killing King Garnelys.
As this final volume of the Jewelfire Trilogy opens, all seems lost for the humans of Aventuria. The shape-changing Bhahdradomen have invaded their lands and usurped their Queen, aided by the Aelyr lord Falthorn. Queen Helananthe has been forced to stand down or see the deaths of her mother and brother. Tanthe, imprisoned with her company of friends in the Amber Citadel, must face great peril as they make desperate plans to escape.