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Royal swords possess the unhuman strength and temperament of their ancestors, dragons. Burta, a young royal sword, resents that she must always defer to Tristabé-airta, Princess Royal of Allsongs, a poet. But Burta is so skilled in arms she expects to win the Allsongs' Contending and that will make her Tristabé-airta's liege. The problem is that she is trapped between the monster that hunts her and the deadly drop down the cliff to the turbulent sea. In Book Two of the Saga of the Dragon Born, all the poets of Allsongs, including Tristabé-airta, must unite their power to rescue Burta. Once rescued, will she unwisely keep a secret close to her heart that will be a rending betrayal to Allsongs' best hope and defense, Tristabé-airta?