Daneea Calasti and her cousin Ilyse of the Risen One had only been studying in Sharlan for a short time before they were sent on a journey by their respective gods, Vythen and the Risen One to find the source of mysterious memories that concern a pair of elvari brothers from a time long lost. Who were these brothers, and why were they so important? And what will knowing this do to the two cousins?
Maran and Jalak Calasti are sons of the local Sacred Sword, Arandel Calasti. When a Steppelander woman forces her way through the mountains bearing words of a haunted ruin and a demon door, and seems to be the focus of a mysterious plague that affects mages (including the twins' older sister Talina), the boys must cross the mountains to find and shut down this portal and find a solution to this plague, before it's too late.
Uhbara, daughter of Maran and Denora Calasti, is warned by a unicorn that her parents might be in great danger, where they are on the far side of the Dalcyn Mountains. When her grandfather's foresight indicates the Steppelanders might be gathering for a war, she travels with the unicorn, Rona, to try to stop it, finding the Heavenly Child who might be the key to the situation. She is not as alone as all that, though, also being accompanied by three ghosts, one of whom knows the Steppelanders very well. But even with that, when Uhbara encounters the person she thinks she's sent for, she finds that things are unfolding in a very different way than she expected. And she soon looses the power to choose for herself. Can her ghosts save her? Can the warwith the Steppelanders be stopped? Who and what is Kelu?
Largo Calasti has never been one to follow the heroic traditions of his family. He chooses to be a farmer instead. When Jirel, however, appears to be dying, the consequences of not acting are dire He seeks out the one priestess who has had a vision like his, and must find his courage to bring the Goddess back to full power. Does he have the strength to do this? Only time will tell.
Tsarek Calasti, son of Uhbara and Lord Kelu, has recently earned his soulsword, EarthDancer. He pairs up with a southern Chakur, Rassa Rocktunnel, and goes to take on his first duties as a Sacred Sword. While acquiring a new mount for his partner, they witness an earthquake caused by the coming of a volcano on the edge of the Steppe. In desperation, because Tsarek speaks the Steppe Tongue fluently, he and Rassa are sent to the mountains to try to forge a peace between the Steppelander refugees and the Mountain Folk they had raided for so many years. Will Tsarek succeed here? Can he find a way to bring peace among bitter enemies?
Khimel Calasti never felt truly accepted amongst his adopted family. Most of the townspeople considered him little more than a savage, and he had a history of fights interspersed with terrifying accidents that he could always walk away from. When an orphan mage-student somehow accidentally nearly kills him with death magic, he finds himself on a path to finding out the truth of his origins, both the fact that his birth father still lived, and that there was someone else, a mysterious heavenly guardian who has always protected him. With Dareen, the mage whose magic was unpredictable, he travels into and through the Dalcyn Mountains to find answers and to avenge the harm that his shamanic father had done to his mother Hlasa. In doing so, he learns lessons he never thought to learn, including where he most felt comfortable, and with whom.
Ranor is torn between doing what his family would want and his worship of his divine grandmother, Jirel. Against the better judgment of his elders, he is allowed to dedicate himself to the Goddess' priesthood, and has reason to hope that no child results of his service. Soon he is sent north, to a chakur stronghold, in the company of a half-elvara who seems to think she loves him, and a chakur bard. It is only after Emiera starts having odd issues, issues that lend one to believe she may be more than she appears, that Ranor becomes aware of other deceptions at work, including possibly from his own Goddess. Will he survive the confrontation ahead, and will he answer the question of how to deal with Emiera's fascination with him?
Larin wakes up under a briar in a snow-filled moutnain forest with no memory of himself, and with not a scrap on him or any sign of how he got there. Accepting help from a crofter, he begins trying to recover some knowledge of who he is, and why he keeps dreaming of a twilight elvara, and in an act of passionate lovemaking that could not have happened where he had found himself. With a determination he sets out to the west, seeking guidance first from the Pass Station in the Pass of Jyord, and then if that doesn't work, further west, in the lowlands. Who is he? And Why does he have strange abilities with his skin, the ability to change it with little more than a thought? Is he cursed by some shaman? Or is there more to Larin's identity than even he guesses?
Anelia of Ryvan was a Sacred Sword on a mission. She seemed bound and determined to use whatever force and wit she had to uncover corruption where it existed. Enough so that she was an almost overwhelming source of trouble for Reyen Calasti, who had been asked to help guide her around Sharlan. His problems only compounded when the elvara that had been his best friend for more than twelve years, Jeriana, seemed to turn on him, behaving waspishly and generally possessive about him. What was the eldest son of Largo and Wystyl to do? What could he do? And why was Anelia so secretive about her reasoning for going after corruption?
When Merin Thistlestar was brought to Uhbara's Railahn Monastery, it was assumed that someone would be after him, a kril'dga who would be interested in finding the control crystals to the device that had changed him into a beast. While Merin tries to adjust to life outside of the cage he'd spent more than twenty years in, Vehlan gets a sign of the kril'dga he was expecting to come after the man. His problem: that every instinct he has of the woman he suspects is behind this is all but unwilling, and not an active enemy, no matter how much she thinks she is. Can Vehlan break through her defenses and save her from her Sisterhood's plans? Is Merin in fact cured of the shapechanging that was done to him as a small child?
Nefta was a mystery, a gnosoi child thrust into the hands of Rhiann Calasti, one of the two active resonant mages in Sharlan. While she grew well, Rhiann was always certain that there was much more to the little girl than met the eye. She had a hand for crafts, but nothing happened while she was growing up, nothing to warrant the words of the mysterious bard who had thrust her into his arms n that night, naming him and telling him to protect her. What is the secret to Nefta's mystery? Why is she so important?
To a Railahn Sacred Sword, nothing is more important than justice, nothing. When Jeres Falconstar is saved from the waters of the Roaming, he had no idea that he would become the closest confidante of Prince Rehik of Alfar. At the prince's side, he earns his soulsword and a place as adviser to first King Leorn, then Rehik, upon the deaths of Rehik's father and brother. Jeres senses that something is wrong, dangerous, but does not know what it is. What will he give up, in his pursuit of justice? What is it that Railah demands when a king's actions come into question?
Delph has always lived with a ghost in his head, that of the Railahn knight, Kenis. He didn't ask for this, but it seems that everyone wanted him to follow the Goddess of Justice because of it. When he is approached by the half-elvare Jadere, he ends up going on an adventure that puts his bond with the ghostly Railahn in a very different light. He travels to the Guardian Wood to relieve a haunting from a castle, with Jadere and the chakur Enekt, only to find out why he is bound to Kenis. What is the reason for Kenis' presence? And what does Jadere want from Delph?
Rinah has long been unsatisfied with the lack of personal attention she's gotten. She knows that many people feel intimicated by her powerful and noteworthy father, but can't hope but long for someone to make a move in her direction. What she was not expecting was for the youngest of her three brothers to introduce her to a seemingly hesitant twilight elvare, from the Northern Reaches, in fact, as a source of ideas for her paintings. When he both expresses interest in her, and hints at a past that must be resolved before he can even consider courting, she decides that this is one challenge she will take up. Zenir seems almost worshipful of her as the descendant of the god he worships. But he has no understanding of his own past, only that the truth lies in the north, and only with her at his side.
Shaial is an exile from her tribe, sent down for what would be an unforgivable decision to defend herself from one of her tribe's warriors. Hanis is the adopted son of Master Derin Calasti, personal advisor to the Emperor of the Two Kingdoms. When Shaial ends up at Court to assist the Emperor on decisions he makes regarding her people, things begin to happen unexpectedly. Why is a visiting noble from Alfaren restricting access to a workroom? Things just don't seem right, to either Shaial or Hanis, but the truth will challenge them both.
A series of strange things unfolds in Sharlan, not long after the arrival of a bristly bearded stranger. It appears that there are assassins on the loose, members of the kril'dga, which had been silent for years. Whatever else they may be planning, they intend revenge for the death and maiming of many of the kril'dga at the time that the Mayisna pulled her Daughters back. Yet there's no clue as to who the assassin is. Will they find the source of the threat and eliminate it? And what is the kril'dga's hidden purpose here?
Things hadn't gone easy for Redel since his attempts on the lives of his cousins. However, when a ghost arrives to speak with his grandfather, a new possibility opens up. Together with his half-sister iyessa, and her extra-planar ally Izal, they seek to locate a distant cousin, Zedaia, who's seeking a pair of six-summer twins that had been taken when her farm was targeted by raiders. The ghost, Sacred Sword Tainen Calasti, tells Zedaia that she is destined for his sword, and that it will grant her power. But how will three people (and Iyessa's ally) overcome a band of raiders that had slaughtered a pair of Sacred Swords? Do they have any hope?