This the second book in The Aterfacts of Power series (following Aurian, and followed by The Sword of Flame and Dhiammara).
After their harrowing ordeal in the blinding desert of glittering gem shards where they recreated the Staff of Earth, one of the lost Artefacts of Power, the Mages Aurian and Anvar find themselves victims of yet another treachery.
Aurian, now several months pregnant and so bereft of her powers, ends up in the stronghold of the Tower of Incondor, prisoner of Harihn, Prince of the Khazalim, whereas Anvar is taken hostage by Blacktalon, High Priest of the Sky Folk, in the high-peaked city of Aerillia. Both are in league with Miathan, who covets Aurian's child, on which he's put a terrible curse.
Shia the great cat might be their only hope.
In this second volume, Maggie Furey takes the opportunity of Aurian and Anvar's confinement not only to develop background characters such as Vannor and his daughter Zanna, Parric, Forral's former horsemaster, or the Nightrunners, but also to introduce the reader with a whole cast of new characters, among which the winsome shapeshifting Xandim Chiamh and Shiannath, therefore letting the story unravel gently, without slowing the pace of action.
And all the while, the mountain is watching...