In the underground world of Alvarra, the supreme ruler is the Nightwing, whose daughters will inherit her throne. Men in this dark-elven society are admired and pampered, but since the overthrow of the Siadhin Lords long ago by the women they bred to oppress, males may not hold positions of power. And peace has reigned for centuries.But the current Nightwing has a son whose poisoned ambition is to kill his sisters one by one and reinstitute the rule of the Siadhin Lords. When the eldest sister is assassinated, the second daughter, Tiala, does not wait to be next. She escapes Alvarra to seek champions from the Upworld lands, where she faces prejudice, superstition, and the Scourge of Elves--the sunlight.Will a cadre of champions comprised of a tormented wizard, a fledgling shape-shifter, a novice monk and a couple of old enemies be enough to secure the peace in Alvarra? At what cost?