On the world of Vandhaqa, human women are kept as slaves, where they serve the Adhal, an ancient race of immeasurable power who rule absolutely with the aid of their creations, the automaton Usahar. Helpless to the needs and dark desires they have been trained and conditioned to feel, these women have only laments and stories to sustain them as they dream of Earth and freedom. Among their stories is the tale of the girl who ran, of a slave named Elizabeth who inadvertently awakens life in the Usahar XL176092. As he slowly assumes sentience, the two of them will discover love and embark on a journey into the heart of Vandhaqa, where they must confront not only the Adhal but also the deeper meanings of sacrifice and hope. Praised by critics, This novel confronts and challenges traditional ideas of power and love, against the erotic background of an alien world that is, in the end, not so different from our own.