With the hedge of protection broken against the Wilds, the white wolves are vulnerable. They have failed to carry out the commission given to them by the Great Wolf, but unknown to them, and the animals of the Wilds, the stolen cubs and animals are entrenched in a struggle of their own. Being schooled with the black wolves, Tristian and Challenger combat the ideas of morphism, fight against the myths of fear created against the white wolves and their beliefs, and give healing to the greatest fighter ever to live among the black wolves.
The wolves face their worst fears. It is a time when the shining has fallen off the Wilds. The great and mighty have fallen. The legacy of the One who led them to their destiny is fading into myth. The Lamsi’s, an off shoot of the House of Alexander, who had departed from the Way, make their entrance from across the seas. They call themselves the wolves of peace and prophecy. It was said that the season would be given to them and the power to end the reign of Khoa.
Khoa and his grandfather, Tristian, are thought to be the last two descendants of an ancient pack of white wolves who followed "the way of the wolf". As the novel opens, Tristian lies dying, having been torn apart by the pack, for teaching Khoa "the way", which is now forbidden. The old wolf sends Khoa on a quest to find a watcher wolf, a book, and a society of white wolves; none of which may exist. As Khoa escapes through a mole tunnel that his grandfather had prepared for him, the pack waits outside the hut to "set upon him".
The size and stability of the American middle class were once the envy of the world. But changes unleashed in the 1960s pitted Americans against one another politically in new and destructive ways. These battles continued to rage from that day to now, while everyone has fallen behind economically except the wealthy. Right-wing culture warriors blamed the decline on the moral shortcomings of "other" Americans - black people, feminists, gays, immigrants, union members - to court a fearful white working- and middle-class base with ever more bitter "us vs. them" politics.