New York Times bestselling author Barbara Hambly is among today's most
brilliantly inventive writers of fantasy. Her riveting novels portray
the timeless struggle of good and evil with matchless intensity and
insight. Now, in the sequel to her critically acclaimed Dragonshadow,
Hambly works her most compelling magic yet. The result is a masterpiece
of dark fantasy, a courageous and compassionate journey through the
hells of the human heart... and beyond.
Once the most powerful mage in the land, Jenny Waynest is now a broken woman. Though sickened by the memory of how the demon Amayon had possessed her body to slake his sadistic lusts, she knows a part of her was corrupted by his touch. That part mourns the demon's defeat and longs for his return, though he has already cost her everything she holds dear: the trust of her husband, Lord John Aversin; the chance to be a mother to her mage-born son; and the magic that had given her life its purpose.
Lord John has torments of his own: memories of the beautiful and cruel Aohila, demon queen of a rival hell, whom he'd tricked into providing the help he needed to free Jenny. Now, condemned to death for trafficking with demons, John cannot forgive Jenny for what she suffered. Nor can he forgive himself - for opening the door to a far greater evil... an evil that still haunts his dreams. And not only his dreams...
For a vengeful Aohila needs mortal aid in realms beyond her power, and who better to provide it than Lord John? Blackmailed into cooperating, John is given a guide: none other than Amayon, the demon he'd driven out of Jenny and into the waiting claws of the demon queen. Now, forced to put his life in the hands of a creature he dare not trust by a monster he dare not disobey, John must fight his way through unimaginable horrors in quest of a prize that may doom the world he has left behind...
While Jenny, awakened by the stardrake known as Morkeleb the Black, embarks on a quest of her own - one that will lead her, without the magic she has always relied upon, into a world as deadly as any braved by her husband... only much closer to home.