Elazar son of Darizar, the urbane, handsome, and charming Prince of Ushir, is building mud huts in the middle of nowhere. And loves it. Lucan has welcomed him into the Caledon and, civilised bathing aside, Elazar is quite content to stay there. This may be influenced by the wild and fair Almha, who seems to find him as intriguing as he finds her.
But trouble brews back in Ushir. The new Gaian Emperor has a civil war to fight, and the son of King Darizar may be a valuable ally. Or a useful hostage. His happy life among the Caledon may soon come under threat, as games of power reach to grasp Elazar from across the sea. But a man must love his fate, for what else can he do?