Twenty-five million years in the past, a clan of sentient, prehistoric big cats called "the Named" have their own language, traditions, and law. Led by Meoran, the Named herd horses and deer for food. They keep order and peace, fending off predatory raiders - the UnNamed - from all sides. But, the battle has taken its toll, and the Named are skirting the edge of survival.
Much to the displeasure of Meoran, a young female named Ratha discovers a powerful defense against the UnNamed. She calls it "the Red Tongue," and it is a creature of incredible power. Red Tongue is fire, a force of both life and destruction that must be at once nurtured and tamed.
Sensing that Ratha's mastery of fire threatens his power, Meoran banishes her from the clan. As she travels out amongst the savage UnNamed, Ratha learns about both them and herself. But, her tribe needs her. Can she return? Will the Named survive constant attacks without the Red Tongue? Will the power of the Red Tongue change the clan forever?