Princess Vray of Rhenlan, exiled for defying her power-mad brother Damon, returns to court to challenge his right to the throne. Unfortunately, Damon's ambition is not the only danger facing the Children of the Rock. The Dreamers, who bend the power of the gods to keep otherworldly monsters at bay, have diminished in number until only a handful remain. With most of the ruling Shapers intent on politics and border feuds, and the peasant Keepers wanting only to tend their fields and raise their families in peace, the Dreamers and the importance of their magical gifts are being forgotten.
As the situation in the three kingdoms deteriorates, the carter Jordy and Dael, captain of the royal guard, see no answer but revolution. But Damon is a devious adversary, and it begins to look as if the best efforts of Vray and her allies will be too little, too late.