Daine is a shapeshifter and animal speaker who becomes mixed up in the affairs of the immortals. She would have been one of my heroines if I had known about her when I was young.
In this 3rd book of the series, Daine, the animal speaker, goes as part of a delegation from Tortal to the magnificent kingdom of Cathak. There she attempts to heal the sick birds of the emperor and befriends urban animals.
Cathak is a place of wonders both natural and magical. She finds Orzone, the emperor, to be sympathetic in his love of his birds. Unfortunately, there is a darkness to the land, not the least of which is the strange old woman with powerful magic who periodically visits her.
Not my favorite book in the series due to the way Daine combats the villains but still very good.