A tale of chaos, betrayal, and nachtmagen unfolds in the second of three ancient legends. It is no idle history, for hidden in its pages are the truths about the great promise—and great danger—that lie just ahead for the Guardians. And so Soren, Coryn, and the members of the Band read on:
A grizzled collier will tend a young prince in exile. An owl who would be monk will don battle claws. A mother who is also a queen will raise an army. And under the shower of embers in the shadow of the Sacred Volcanoes, a king will be born—or die.
Grank raises the hatchling deep in a forest far from owls that would kill the royal chick, Hoole, to end the kingly line. His mother comes to visit, in disguise, and soon departs again. Not even the chick must know his mother’s true identity—it would give him away as Hrath’s heir. Sent by an evil warlord, a hagsfiend attempts to lure young Hoole away when he first learns to fly. Grank realizes that the same evil forces that killed Hrath are after Hoole, and they know where he is. To keep him safe, Grank brings him to Beyond the Beyond, a strange land of fiery volcanoes in a barren, icy landscape.