It has only been a few, short seasons, but for Jira Santree, it seems like a lifetime since she left the quiet life on the farm. Now she is the Matriarch of the Dragon Back Clan for a lair that has been empty of dragons for a long time.
Jira learns that her new title involves tremendous responsibilities when a visiting dragon clan finds her ways not to their liking, and the rival clan disrupts the peace of the valley. Montiack, the matriarch of the Red Mountain Clan, claims that as a mere human, Jira has no right to the title or to the lair.
Montiack invokes the Matriarch Challenge, a deadly duel on dragon back, in order to take away Jira's claim to the lair. The first obstacle for Jira is to find a dragon from her own clan as her dragon mount. How will she survive if she cannot rely on anything but her dragon magic? The connection to the valley and to the crystal, and any help from her friends Aithera and Devon is forbidden by the First Matriarch, and any interference will be met by instant death.