Bellana and Conall travel to Ousta to meet Bellana's biological mother, the queen of the fairies. They travel with elves, meet dwarves and the oldest denizen of the Four Lands. Each meeting drives home the realization that war with the invading Nacorians is unavoidable. Bellana is flummoxed when she finally arrives at Ousta to find her mother less than mentally stable--with big plans for Bellana.
Bellana and her half-brother, Astar, plot to circumvent their mother's plans without causing the destruction of Ousta,