Elsis has seized power in the Rory tribe’s mountain citadel of Grealding and is steadily eliminating any who oppose her. Famed Rory Huntress, Yalnita is mourning the loss of her lover Regrais in battle as a result of a decision she now bitterly regrets and blames herself for.
Grief stricken and unpredictable, Yalnita strikes out at anything that stirs her guilt or sense of justice. But when she protects one of those Elsis is hunting and helps him escape, her own life is in peril.
Thinking to bury herself and her troubles at the furthest point in Animarl from Grealding, she winds up in the dangerous seaport of Melen Darit. But even here Yalnita discovers the long arm of Elsis seeking her out and soon she is on the run once more.
When she meets a Kauk – a strange and formidable creature part wolf, part mountain lion – she discovers a compelling reason to travel with it to Grealding. They form an uneasy alliance as Yalnita sets out to avenge her banishment and overthrow Elsis.
But it all depends on her outrunning a man called Tavinder Lepp. Elsis’s Sergeant at Arms, Lepp trails her through the forests and towns of Animarl’s outer reaches, and he never gives up. Also, the Kauk has its own reasons for accompanying her to Grealding, reasons known only to the secretive animal that present their own danger for the huntress.
Yalnita is soon in more strife than even she can handle and will have to rely more than ever on her celebrated fighting skills, as well as bargains struck with untrustworthy allies to make it back and restore justice to Grealding and herself.
It’s going to be a long and bloody road home…