This is the first volume of the Windsingers tetralogy (before The Windsingers, The Limbreth Gate and Luck of the Wheels).
Ki is an outcast Romni young woman travelling with her wagon and Sigmund and Sigurd, two grays horses, as sole possession, and set on crossing the ice-clad Sisters' mountain pass and delivering her freight.
On the way she almost kills Vandien in self-defense when the hungry and shabby-looking man tries to steal one of her horses to cross the pass. Instead they decide to ride together, although Vandien will try several times to talk her out of taking this road with her wagon.
The narrative alternates between the present, with the tale of Ki and Vandien's growing friendship as they face dire perils together, and the past, when Ki reminisces about the events that lead her here. In these episodes, the reader discovers her story: the violent death of her husband and two children, murdered by Harpies, her hunger for revenge and attack on a Harpies' nest, her time with her husband's family, trying to respect their customs and rites and finally leaving, her cousin-in-law Haftor urging her to take the Sisters' Pass.
Harpy's Flight is Megan Lindholm's first novel, written in 1982, and although I didn't find it as thrilling as her later trilogies written as Robin Hobb, I was delighted to discover she already had that amazing style and writing talent.