Cross's gritty finale to her dystopian feminist fantasy trilogy (after 2006's ""Shadowed by Wings"") finds Zarq Darquel still in search of the safety and security of a home and familyand still struggling with her hunger for addictive dragon venom. In the face of laws prohibiting women from owning property, Zarq has defied the repressive patriarchal system of the Dragon Temple and acquired a dragon-egg producing estate. Harsh circumstances make her a foster parent and force her into several other roles, including those of revolutionary and pawn in a prophecy. Cross puts her heroine through brutal, fast-paced action sequences in a world resembling the Middle East. Without preaching, the author handles challenging themes of addiction, graphic sexuality, racism, slavery and the oppression of children and women. This concluding installment is for adult readers who like their escapism darker than their reality. ""(Apr.)"" .