Long bound under a geas of slavery, Gereint Enseichen of Casmantium knows little and cares less about the recent war in which his king tried to use griffins and fire to wrest territory from the neighboring country of Feierabiand... but he knows that Casmantium’s unexpected defeat offers him a chance to escape from his own servitude. A gifted maker, Gereint is certain he can forge a bright future for himself, if only he can avoid falling back under the compulsion of the geas.
Far from the griffins’ country of fire, in the capital city of Casmantium, Tehre Amnachudran knows little and cares less about the recent war. A brilliant maker and builder, she is far more concerned with trying to work out the mathematical philosophy underlying the construction of stone walls and iron bridges.
But now that the griffins find themselves in a position of strength, they are not inclined to forgive the king’s attempt to use them as pawns to further his own human ambitions, and now the entire kingdom of Casmantium finds itself in deadly peril. Willing or not, both Gereint and Tehre find themselves caught up in a desperate struggle between the griffins and the last remaining Casmantian mage. But though necessity may bind more tightly than any geas, even the strongest gifts of making and building may not prove sufficient when the fiery wind of the griffins begins to bury the life of Casmantium beneath the burning sands...
Rachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student and needed a hobby unrelated to her research. Prior to selling her first fantasy novel, she had published only a few articles in venues such as The American Journal of Botany. However, finding that her interests did not lie in research, Rachel left academia and began to let her hobbies take over her life instead.
She now raises and shows dogs, gardens, cooks, and occasionally finds time to read. She works part-time for a tutoring program, though she tutors far more students in Math and Chemistry than in English Composition.