In a post-apocalyptic ice age, neomage Thorn St. Croix was nearly driven insane by her powers. She lived as a fugitive, disguised as a human, channeling her gifts for war into stone-magery. When she was discovered, her friends and neighbors accepted her, but warily. Not so the mage who arrives from the Council of Seraphs, who could be her greatest ally?or her most dangerous foe. And when her long-gone sister, Rose, is revealed to still be alive, Thorn must make a choice?and risk her own life in the process.
The third novel in Hunter's postapocalyptic fantasy series (after 2006's Seraphs) finds neomage Thorn St. Croix working as a jeweler and town mage in the rural Appalachian town of Mineral City, Carolina. Then her former home, the New Orleans Enclave, sends arrogant metal mage Cheran Jones, ostensibly to instruct her in "media relations" as she is "woefully lacking" in diplomatic knowledge and abilities. When the deadly succubus queen's war on Mineral City provides enough death energy for the powerful Dragon to escape its prison between the planes of reality, Thorn is pulled between the demands of the ultra-lawful Administration of the ArchSeraph and its rivals, the Earth Invasion Heretics, who claim to know the origins of seraphs and demons and the whereabouts of Thorn's missing twin, Rose. Hunter's world continues to expand in this highly original fantasy with lively characters where nothing can ever be taken for granted.