The touch of a nine-year-old girl, Cassian, awakens a twisted and tormented dragon from a spell of oblivion to rain destruction upon the world. A young orphan boy, Jaryle, is chosen to call the people, from the mighty King Faarwhey to the prisoners in his dungeon, to turn to the Creator, for the fullfillment of the long-awaited yet-all-but-forgotten Promise is at hand. His visions of Kathreen Alarion, a Dragon-rider and Wizard who lived in a different time on another continent offer insight and perspective for his own life and the events of the war-torn world around him. Meanwhile Amrath, embittered and traumated by her own tragedy, flees for her life from the wrath of the Dragonqueen, the bloodthirsty goddess of the age. Is she called to join Jaryle in his mission as Herald and Knight of the Promise?
In the midst of all this, the Promise is to be fullfilled. Seeming disaster and failure are proven to be in accord with the prophecies and the very fullfillment of the Promise.