The Ancient Race of enhanced humans in Damaria has been all but destroyed by a revolt of the New People. The two survivors, Riddle the Poet and his nephew, young King Lute, flee to the City of the Mist. There they and the many other refugees plan to build a great ship to ferry them to safety in the Western Isles, where some of their kin remain. But the evil worm Dinorm, their old enemy, is not finished with them yet. The longest and best-realized of all of Ardath Mayhar's epic fantasies, the first half of which was previously published as Riddles & Dreams.
Ardath Frances Hurst Mayhar (born 1930) began her writing career as a poet when she was nineteen. She began writing science fiction in 1979 after returning with her family to Texas from Oregon. She was nominated for the Mark Twain Award, and won the Balrog Award for a horror narrative poem in Masques I. She has had numerous other nominations for awards in almost every fiction genre and has won many awards for poetry. In 2008 she was chosen by Science Fiction Writers of America as their Author Emeritus.
Mayhar has written over 60 books ranging from science fiction to horror to young adult to historical to westerns; with some work under the pseudonyms Frank Cannon, Frances Hurst, and John Killdeer.