Ace, Dec 2004, 7.99, 368 pp.
The hold once thrived as a place where raku (dragon) masters taught human keepers how to use their magical skills. A man named Useless is the head Master. His wife Keribdis goes across the sea to find some raku. She never returns and the rest of the keepers were killed by a rogue with a grudge. Alissa, the first new student to come into the hold in years in years, defeated the renegade keeper and freed Useless who was locked up in a magical jail built to suppress his powers.
Now Alissa is a human born Master who can shapeshift into a raku (a dragon) and dreams of a raku named Silla. When Useless finds out about her dreams, he realizes that the Masters and Keepers who left the hold are alive. Alissa and her two suitors Strell and Lodesh and the Master Conner-Nute take a ship to an island cluster, where they find the Masters and the Keepers. Keribdis believes she should take over Alissa's teaching and when the young woman refuses her Keribdis uses force, almost killing Alissa in the process.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner