Dragons are a lusty lot known for grinding their lovers into dust. Talan'alaith'illaria is no exception and has found no man or woman her match or equal in a thousand years. That changes when Raine, the sole survivor of two mythic races, stumbles across the ancient dragon queen in her lair. Raine possesses her father's strength and her mother's passion, and the combination ignites the dragon's desire to an inferno. Talan, greatest of the twelve ancients, at last finds her perfect lover.
Their domestic bliss does not last long, however, as events conspire against their peace. The Hyr'rok'kin, monstrous demons of the underworld, are spewing forth from the Empty Land. Raine is called to join a band of humans, elves, and dwarves in a quest to stop the invasion. She fears no enemy, no injury, not even death itself. But something is waiting at the Gates of Hel, something that seeks to separate Raine from the dragon she is bound to for all of time.
The Ha’kan, an all-female race that reveres sexuality and views monogamy as unnatural, have been at war with the Tavinter for centuries. Queen Halla seeks to end this long-term dispute with the nomadic forest people by extending a unique offer to the Tavinter Chieftain. She invites his daughter, Skye, to attend the most prestigious school in all of Arianthem: the Sjöfn Academy.
Skye accepts the invitation and sets out with determination and trepidation. She does not know what to expect, for the Queen’s own daughter, Dallan, is but a few years older than her and will serve as her mentor at the Academy. Skye has only to meet the laughing dark eyes of the princess once before she realizes she is going to get far more of an education than she ever dreamed possible.
Syn is a womanizer and a rogue. Her name is apt for she is indeed a sinner, flawed and unrepentant. She also happens to be the best thief in all of Arianthem. She stays one step ahead of the Guild of Thieves, a shadowy organization that seeks to recruit her, and failing that, to stop her permanently.
Syn enters a contract with a frightening pair, a dragon and her lethal lover, to steal a series of enchanted stones. But before she can even begin her spree she runs headlong into the roadblock that is the Lady Jorden. Jorden, a noblewoman far above Syn's station, pursues Syn like no other. And Syn, who has run from everything in her life, finds herself wanting to submit to those blue-green eyes and that wicked smile.
Raine has always been more of a warrior than a diplomat, but now she must use all of her charisma to bring the rivals of Arianthem together. Her close bonds with the all-female race of the Ha’kan ensure that alliance, but negotiations with the Empire go poorly until they receive an unexpected boost from a sultry ally. The reserved elven leader of the Alfar hints to Raine of cooperation, yet also hints that sexual conquest might be her price.
Events seem to sabotage the alliance as the Alfar leader kidnaps an imperial, the daughter of the wealthiest landholder in Arianthem. Raine is baffled by the strange actions of the elven noblewoman, actions that bring the entire land to the brink of war. The concord truly unravels when Skye, the young leader of the Tavinter, manifests magical abilities and unintentionally attracts monumental evil. Raine’s only hope is that her dragon lover will return from the Empty Land before all is lost and the evil that stalks Skye comes for her.
Raine enjoys a respite with her dragon lover in the land of the Ha’kan, recovering from the wounds sustained battling the dark demons of the Underworld. Skye is melancholy, thinking she has endangered everyone with her uncontrolled magic. But her despondency does not last long when she meets the ravishing mage who is to be her mentor, one who believes that sexual energy and magical energy are intimately related.
The high elves, the Alfar, enter into negotiations with the Ha’kan, and all progresses with promise as the beautiful Queen of the all-female race is gracious beyond measure. It seems the treaty will be signed and the alliance formed when rumors of an assassination threaten to derail all. Raine does not know the target or the assassin, but she must prevent the death of a head of state at all costs. In the end, it is the legends of the Great War that will bring all together, reminding them of the monumental sacrifices of the Ancient dragons and their Scinterian brethren in the past.
The dragons have returned to Arianthem, and four of the Ancients go to war. Talan is joined by Kylan, her seductive ally from the Great War, while Volva, her enemy, uses her carnal ways to stand against the Queen of all Dragons. Both of Talan’s children must stand with her, and Talan gambles that her trust in them is not misplaced.
Meanwhile, both the Ha’kan and Tavinter seek Skye, the young ruler who was kidnapped by a sorceress. Haunted by thoughts of her violation and captivity, they will not stop until they find her, even if it means searching every league of the Deep Woods. Unfortunately, Raine, the one most suited to find Skye, cannot even look because it most certainly is a trap for the Scinterian warrior. Instead, she must deal with the Shadow Guild, the upper echelon of all Assassins in Arianthem. These vampyres are contracted to kill a head of state and Raine must stop the assassination before it destroys the nascent Alliance. But this forces her to deal with the impulsively sexual creatures whose manipulations and machinations put even the Goddess of the Underworld to shame.
Skye is reunited with her friends and lovers in the Ha’kan, but the shadow of the sorceress looms over her. Even as her magical power increases, she knows she is no match for the woman who seeks vengeance for her great-grandfather’s infidelity. But Skye is no longer a child, and her years with the highly sexual Ha’kan have taught her a few things as she considers an entirely new way of dealing with her nemesis.
Raine prepares for departure to Mount Alfheim, intending to accompany the Ha’kan Queen and her entourage. The powerful warrior has orchestrated events to perfection: the people of Arianthem are united as never before. But as she and her dragon lover start their journey, Raine can’t help but feel that the hand of fate is tightening its grasp around her. As clouds gather over the Empty Land, a prophecy is heavy on her mind.
As the Second Great War threatens, it is uncertain if the Alliance will hold. The Goddess of the Underworld stirs, having waited centuries for this moment. Her goal and her focus are one, solely on the object of her lust. Hel will take what she is due, and the Dragon’s Lover will bow before her, by choice or by force. And the latter is just as pleasing to her, as long as the Arlanian is on her knees...
Raine has been captured by the Goddess of the Underworld and her fate is exactly as she feared. The curse of the Arlanians, their intense sexual desirability and uncontrolled physical response, plays against her as Hel demands that she share her bed. But it is not Hel’s mistreatment of her that distresses Raine the most. Rather, it is the curious deference with which the Goddess treats her that fills her with dread.
The allies in the mortal realm know that Raine is held prisoner, and there is no word of Raine’s love, the Ancient Dragon Talan. Still, that will not stop them from mounting a rescue. Planning moves forward until the final line of the prophecy reveals an unexpected translation, and all is thrown into disarray. Resolve falters as the ominous meaning becomes clear. The people of Arianthem must decide a course of action, for now they battle not merely a god, but fate itself.
Even so, the mage Idonea, the elves Feyden and Elyara, the dwarf Lorifal, and the imperials Dagna and Bristol have sworn to rescue their comrade. And the young Tavinter leader, Skye, will not let them leave without her. This small band of adventurers, a handful who have actually been to the Gates of the Underworld, will save their friend, even if they have to go it alone.