A tale of threat and transformation involving two cousins with charms and promises in the spirit world. Ashley (Ash) and Nina are the daughters of twin sisters. Nina's father, half Native American, loves Nine wholeheartedly; Ash's mother was killed in senseless violence, and her dad has rejected her. Nine is quiet and studious; Ash is bitter, rebellious, and studies magic, not schoolbooks. But Nine is magic, because her 60's hippie parents pledged her to the earth spirit, Ya-wau-tse. Now Ya-wau-tse has come to claim Nine so that Ya-wau-tse can live forever, holding the spirit world in the grip of winter. Nine is sent dreams that she believes come from Ash; but Ash has found her own way to the spirit world, where she is told that only by shedding her bitterness and sacrificing herself can her cousin-sister be saved. In doing so, Ash is reborn. The writing, story, and consistency of the fantasy make this a fine second book in the new ""Dragonflight"" series, marred only by its didactic insistence on Ash giving up her hatred and bitterness in order to become a whole person. Some readers may find it preachy; others will respond to the magic.