The best-laid plans, even of princesses, can go awry...very, very awry.
Seventeen-year-old Saraid of Thekla is on her way to marry the ruler of far-off Mauburni. But she's not sobbing into her silk-curtained litter at the thought of leaving home, because she has plansand The Book. She's studied this ancient treatise on the art of kingship for months to make herself the ideal queen for her adopted country. Once her new husband sees that, he'll fall madly in love with her. It will all be perfect. She knows it.
But The Book is silent on what to do when one's journey across a cursed desert wasteland is halted by a mysterious young warlord. Cadel has plans of his ownplans that don't include her going to Mauburni. As she begins to unravel his secrets, Saraid will have to lay aside The Book and trust her own wisdomand her heartto navigate the treacherous shoals of politics and power and become the queen she yearns to be.