In Feierabiand, in the wide green Delta, far from the burning heat of the griffin's desert, Mienthe's peaceful life has been shaken. Tan - clever, cynical, and an experienced spy - has brought a deadly secret out of the neighboring country of Linularinum. Now, as three countries and two species rush toward destruction, Mienthe fears that even her powerful cousin Bertaud may be neither able nor even willing to find a safe path between the secret Linularinum would kill to preserve and the desperate ferocity of the griffins. But can Mienthe? And, in the end, will Tan help her. . . or do everything in his power to stand in her way?