Stephanie, recovering from near-fatal wounds inflicted during her deadly encounter with Kravchuk, the arms-dealer assassin, meets a badly injured child, Sarah, in their recovery clinic. Reading Tolkien to Sarah helps to heal some of the child’s trauma and redirects Stephanie, now using the alias Ariadne, toward a deep rewarding relationship with her new charge. Returning to the Argentine ranch, Ten Ten Vilu on the rio Catan Lil, Ariadne helps counter a plot by right-wing extremists to take over the Patagonian electric grid and topple the government. She meets the title character for Llywellyn (Oskar Part IV) during this counter and defuses a CIA plot to disclose her identity to her enemies, who want her killed.
Sarah rejoins Stephanie at Ten Ten Vilu, her disfigurement partially repaired by surgery, her personality becoming that of a bright pre-teen girl. Stephanie and her sister, Julia, fight off three ambushers who kill a local vaquero and try to shoot the sisters during a ride on the ranch. They snatch one of the shooters from a villa miseria in Buenos Aires in order to deliver him to the vaquero’s people but are rebuffed by the locals and forced to leave him to die at a regional hospital.
The ghosts of old enemies appear, plotting against Stephanie’s existence as she and Sarah finish their reading of the Tolkien classic, look for the mythical ibexes on the ranch, and try to discern their future as Stephanie replaces Inez at the head of White Swan, Ltd.
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