Sonja gets a case of mountain-fever while riding through the mountains of southern Shem. She passes out but luckily is rescued by Lord Omeron. Omeron was the ruler of the city-state of Thesrad until the wizard Du-jum and his Kushite mercenaries conquered it. With his sorcery and the treachery of his wife Omeron and his faithful followers escaped into the hills. Sonja seeing parallels to the city of Suthad and grateful for being rescued agrees to join his rebellion. Also joining is the mysterious woman Ilura. Ilura is the daughter of Du-jum and can turn into a giant snake and control other snakes. Thus Omeron and the others infiltrate the city to attack Du-jum. For Du-jum has taken the city because it contains a passage to Hell underneath it. He plans to enlist the forces of Hell to conquer the world. Now its up to Sonja to lead the forces of resistance to free the city and save the world.
Well the fifth book at first sounded like a rehash of the first novel. A city-state taken by an evil wizard. But the similarities end there. This was otherwise a completely original story. I think this is my favorite of the Red Sonja novels these two wrote. A very exciting story with a colorful cast of characters. From the evil wizard and the treacherous wife that aids him. A woman who can turn into a giant snake and control hordes of other snakes against the wizard who uses hordes of birds to defeat his enemies. Unlike their first two books this one has a happy ending for the city-state involved. These two authors had a good grasp on the character and wrote some very interesting stories.