Separated for nearly two years, Shunlar has returned to her former lover, Ranth, to present him with their son. Forces have conspired to sunder the deep bonds that once existed between them, and Shunlar now believes that she loves another. But she has greater problems to contend with than her own troubled heart. Someone has carved spells of death into Ranth's body, and foul treachery and war threaten the desert city of Kalaven. If any are to be saved, the secret of the dragons must finally be revealed and what is dead and forgotten must rise again and bring forth life. For the power to answer all questions lies deep within the ruins of a deserted city, locked inside the Stones of Stiga.