This next generation follow-up to the Sisters of the Sun trilogy finds the Sun Witch's daughter, Ariana Kane Varden, facing her own epic quest and the prospect of romance in Jones's richly realized fantasy world. Up until the wizard Sian Chamblyn appears at court with dire news, the witch Ariana has used her modest powers of healing to aid the ailing emperor of Columbyana. That changes, however, when Sian's alarming prophecy points to her as one of three cousins who must lead the land against as-yet-unrevealed forces of evilan evil that promises to unleash monsters on the land and "a very ugly death" for the unprepared. Neither the cynical Sian nor Ariana believe she's capable of leading an army, but they're forced to work together to train her for the struggle ahead. Bit by bit, Ariana develops powers that help her divine the true nature of their foe, at the same time she's reluctantly falling in love with the equally recalcitrant wizard.