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Original Simon & Schuster/Atheneum U.S. hardcover of the book featuring the title character
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster/Atheneum|
|2 May 1994|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||182 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||0-689-31833-2 (first edition, hardback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.P61464 Wm 1994|
|Preceded by||Wild Magic|
|Followed by||Emperor Mage|
This book details the journey of Veralidaine Sarrasri as she learns more about her wild magic and her journey to Dunlath to help the wolves, only to find there is a bigger and more dangerous plot afoot.
Daine receives a summons from some old friends—the wolf pack from her old village, led by Brokefang and his mate Frostfur, who are unhappy with the nobles ruining the Long Lake, their territory. They send messengers to ask Daine for help and then disappear back into the night to hunt while Daine discusses this over with her teacher, Numair Salmalin.
Numair agrees to help the wolves, but he decides that he first must visit the nobles in Fief Dunlath at a party to further investigate after they find the burnt remains of the Ninth Rider Group.
Numair recognizes a battle mage at Fief Dunlath, who appears to be wooing Lady Yolane. After Daine boldly approaches them about the threat to the wolves and to the area with a warning that if they don't change, things will happen, the nobles all laugh at her. She retires with Numair back to their quarters and they stealthily leave in the night from Fief Dunlath.
Tristan Staghorn, the mage in Dunlath is a war mage from the Carthaki university where Numair studied to become one of the 7 most powerful mages in the world. Upon discovering Tristan was there, Numair realized that the situation in Dunlath was worse than they had thought. He creates a magical simulacra (clone) of himself and plays on Tristan's knowledge of him back in Carthak, where he was a "book-bound idiot." He explains to Daine that people who are Black robe mages study books and learn nothing practical. Daine seems to think he relies too much on the enemy mage's stupidity.
Shortly after this, Numair decides to go back to the city where King Jonathan is and warns him of something afoot in Dunlath. Daine stays to sort out the mess with her friend Brokefang and Numair tells her not to do anything extreme or he will lock her in the deepest dankest dungeon he can find when he gets his hands on her again.
Throughout the book, Daine reaches the next level in the development of her wild magic as she starts to share minds with animals, a useful ability as she uses the eyes of squirrels and other creatures to spy. This ability soon translates to gaining certain characteristics of animals once she returns to her natural body.
Daine discovers she has the power to morph into animals after Maura, Lady Yolane's somewhat plain and much younger sister, runs away from Fief Dunlath. Shortly afterwards, Rikash Moonsword the Stormwing appears to be fond of Maura and he makes Daine rethink her theory about all Stormwings being naturally evil. Maura tells Daine about Yolane's plans to become Queen—a deal with Emperor Ozorne of Carthak, who is also hinted at causing the siege at Pirate's Swoop in the first book. In the meantime, Daine meets a basilisk named Tkaa, who comes to be an important ally and a partial tutor to Kitten, her dragonet. Tristan creates a magical barrier to isolate fief Dunlath from help. Daine learns that Tristan and his mage friends Alamid and Gissa are going to dump a poison called bloodrain into the river at the north of Dunlath to kill everything living within ten miles of the river.
Tristan tries to hurt Daine with his magic, and Numair turns Tristan into an apple tree with a word of power, also causing a tree somewhere in the world to turn into a human.
With the help of Maura, Tkaa, Kitten (Skysong the Dragonet), the Stormwing Lord Rikash, Huntsman Tait, Alanna the Lioness, Raoul of Goldenlake, and the animals of the Long lake of Dunlath Numair and Daine manage to rip the entire plot to pieces in the biggest siege Daine has foiled yet.