Their technological resources destroyed, a colonizing expedition from Earth has been stranded on the world of Methuen for over two hundred years. Their continued survival is largely due to the organization of healers known as the Eumedicos and to the Seekers Veritas, a unique group composed of pairs of Bondmates, one human and one ghatti—a telepathic catlike being native to Methuen who bonds with a specific human for life. These Bondmates travel from town to town, settling disputes by truth-reading the minds and emotions of plaintiffs and defendants. While most people respect the Seekers, there are those who fear the ghatti powers. And now someone has begun attacking Seeker pairs.
What no one knows is that this destroyer has targeted one specific pair of Bondmates as special victims—the woman Doyce and the ghatta Khar'pern. For the key to defeating this deadly foe is locked away in Doyce's mind behind barriers even her ghattas has never been able to break down.