The Ancient, the strange, living fire imprisoned at the heart of the world, has grown tired of its cage. It is pushing its way up everywhere, defying
The Ancient, the strange, living fire imprisoned at the heart of the world, has grown tired of its cage. It is pushing its way up everywhere, defying the magic of the Firedance that has bound it since the Beginning of all things. Jetta ak'Kal, the most talented Firedancer of her generation, has already lost her lifemate, the village she was supposed to protect, and her confidence to its bold attacks. Now, a year later, her clan ignores her insistence that the Ancient is acting strangely and sends her to protect Annam Vale with only the most erratic journeyman in all the Fire Clans for a helper. Poor Settak has only stubbornness going for him—and a long-cherished love for Jetta that she cannot return.
They arrive in Annam to discover the Ancient crawling up through abandoned mine tunnels. Thrown straight into battle with an enemy that still gives her nightmares, Jetta's private little war is complicated by the presence of Windriders, masters of air, the Ancient's most potent fuel. Arrogant and cocksure of their own ability to protect Annam, most of them side with a village faction that thinks Jetta ak'Kal is a greater liability than an asset. Only Sheshan ak’Kal seems reasonable, but his undisguised interest in Jetta sets Settak bristling.
Beset on all sides, Jetta must somehow bring Windriders and Firedancers in an unprecedented alliance to stop the Ancient, for if she fails, Annam Vale and its big, laughing Stone Delvers will be only the first victim of the firestorm that will surely follow.
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