The dragon keepers and fledgling dragons have discovered a route to the lost city of Kelsingra but there is one problem: they need to be able to fly to cross the treacherous waters and enter the fabled city. At first, only a few dragons are willing to try -- the others are either too ashamed of their deformed wings and feeble muscles or too proud to risk failure and humiliation.
But the rewards waiting at Kelsingra for those brave enough to take to the air are worth more than they could possibly imagine. This was a city built for dragons and their keepers. Alise Finbok is overwhelmed by the treasures she finds there, and spends hours carefully uncovering wonder after wonder, recording her findings for posterity. She knows the knowledge will change everything the world thought about dragons and the Elderlings.
Yet rumours of the city's discovery have floated down the Rain Wild River and reached envious ears in Bingtown and beyond. Adventurers, pirates and fortune hunters are coming in droves to pillage what they can from the city. Will the dragons, only just finding their strength, and their keepers, who are changing in their own mysterious ways, be able to fend them off?
And what has happened to Tintaglia, the dragon-mother who started it all? Has she really abandoned her offspring forever? Or will she too return to seek the riches of Kelsingra...