Fifteen dragons have set off on a dangerous trek up the Rain Wild River, in hopes of rediscovering their lost haven, the ancient city of Kelsingra. Accompanying them is a disparate group of rejects from Rain Wild society, including strong and defiant young Thymara; wealthy dragon scholar and Trader's wife Alise; and her companion, the urbane Sedric. These human keepers yearn also to create a new home where they can decide their own fate. But is Kelsingra real or merely a fragment of a glorified past buried deep in the dragons' shared memories? As they forge ever deeper into uncharted wilderness, starvation, flashfloods, and predators imperil them all. But as dragons and humans alike soon learn, the most savage threats come from within their own company . . .