Wrenched from a deteriorating lifestyle when his promiscuous wife kicked him out, Don Vargas rents a dilapidated casita which–unknown to him, of course–is actually a portal to another world.
Being clueless about his future (or, for that matter, his past), through that portal, Don reluctantly participates in an alternative existence in the Valle Abajo, a place like, yet strangely unlike, his own Rio Grande valley.
At first, he sees the Valle clanspeople as a sophisticated mix of divergent races and cultures being forced to unite to defeat the Soreyes. Except they can’t. They desperately need help fighting the wily and powerful Soreyes who have built a mysterious Tower, a Tower that dominates the landscape and magically empowers them to preempt the clans’ every effort to escape their terrorizing reign.
A century earlier, Teresa, a curandera from Don’s own Rio Grande Valley, tried to defeat the Soreyes, but succeeded only in slowing them down. Now, the clans expect Don to succeed where she failed.
But all he wants is to swill beer, shout profanities, and douse his every thought and action in cynicism. Only the disarming beauty and quiet wisdom of a young curandera of the Pirallt clan can hope to convince him to accept their quest, that and the dogged determination of Nersite, a pint-sized storyteller and occasional warrior of the Nohmin clan.
Each time Don bounces between the Rio Grande Valley and Valle Abajo, his perception of the clans and their plight evolves until he discovers the shocking reality not only of the Valle, but of the lineage that lead him there.