Inessa-a tiny girl not even seven-arrived in Merrill, a slave of Heran. It was the Tome of Neomerun-a big book of spells-that coaxed a caravan from Heran to Merrill where Riger was a minstrel. A Tome and a Tale begins three years after Ankar-fire dragon of Domai-destroyed Lord Felarin's even bigger dragon, and dropped the powerful mage in Sheebrin Swamp, where lava mingled with mud. But Ankar was still alive, still awake . . . and hungry. Riger's sword set Inessa free, and they became inseparable. By the time the minstrel realized he loved the little girl enough to adopt her, she'd been imprisoned in the north while Riger was called away. The fire dragon that had saved Oro now threatened the kingdom, and it was Riger who had to face the beast. Without Inessa, he would die . . .