Earth is dying, its people captured and sold as slaves to other planets. Moira Shine has become the sex slave of Marin DoTritus, a lord in the palace of Kinnai. But her will proves formidable and she's determined to regain her freedom—through death, if necessary. After a shocking display of defiance by Moira, Marin is forced to give her up lest he lose favor in the palace.
Moira's new owner, Anath Miritis, has served the king faithfully for years and suddenly finds himself embroiled in political change. As he negotiates palace politics, he must also deal with the first slave he's ever owned. Moira is strong and fiercely independent, and Marin exploits these traits by making her a palace spy. Before long, however, he's struggling with the knowledge that he wants her for other, entirely personal reasons.
Court politics abound as Moira learns the ways of the palace, struggling to find her place in a new society in which she doesn't truly belong. But as the days pass her strength will be tested—especially when the idea of belonging to Anath becomes more appealing than she'd like to admit.