Overlong third volume, not conclusion so much as continuation of the fantasy adventures of Firekeeper, a teenaged girl of royal descent raised by wolves, who finds much to fight and fear.
Having helped vanquish the magical machinations of Queen Valora in Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart (2002, etc.), Firekeeper, her wolf sidekick Blind Seer, and best buddy Damian Carter travel back to the ruined forest encampment where the infant Lady Blysse was rescued from calamity by a pack of wolves, to find a thriving human settlement. Some members of her pack tell Firekeeper (who can speak eloquently with them and other animals) that they see the humans as a threat and might kill them if they continue to breed. Firekeeper asks King Tedric of Hawk Haven to do something he fears he can’t: tell the settlement to pull up its stakes and leave. Meanwhile, Malora, another of Firekeeper’s vile, sorcerous relatives who bewitched her five daughters in the previous installment, has fled to the magical/pre-industrial land of New Kelvin, where she’s used her magic to seduce and marry the youthful Toriovico, who not only has significant political influence but is hereditary custodian of New Kelvin’s magical past. Citrine, one of Malora’s bewitched daughters, has not recovered mentally and physically from her mother’s wickedness. To help Citrine and learn more about Malora’s intentions, King Tedric dispatches Lady Elise Archer, with Firekeeper (who believes she is destined to kill Malora), Blind Seer, Damian, Citrine (in disguise) and Grateful Peace, along with others, to New Kelvin, where they learn that Malora wants to use her magic to seek out the legendary dragon rumored to dwell somewhere below New Kelvin, and use the dragon’s power to dominate the realm. After the dragon bursts from its obsidian prison and Malora meets her fate, Firekeeper and Blind Seer light out for the territories. Do even more adventures await?
Firekeeper steals every scene, but Lindskold’s penchant for distracting subplots, tedious dialogue, and multiple points of view stalls a story that starts too slowly and never gains momentum.