King Talmon has captured the princess Etana Calista Selson, who is destined to become queen of Siana. Talmon's master, Lashki Mirah, has long had designs on the Sianian throne and he is planning the murder of both the king and Etana his heir. The slave Rafen discovers that if he frees Etana from the Tarhian palace, she may ask her father the king to rescue Rafen from Talmon in return. Now everything depends on Etana reaching her father and bringing him to Tarhia to release Rafen. But it looks like the only miracle he will see is the revelation of what his name means-and why people want to kill him.