Lief, Barda and their unruly but clever new friend, Jasmine, are on a quest to find the seven gems stolen from the magic Belt of Deltora. They have already found the golden topaz but only when all the gems have been found can their land be free from the evil Shadow Lord. Their search from the second stone, the ruby, is filled with danger and trickery. The monster sorceress Thaegan is ruler of the territory they must travel through to reach the Lake of Tears where the ruby lies. In their perilous travels they encounter the wicked Grey Guards, Thaegan's monster children, and at their journey's end, the hideous Guardian of the lake of Tears.