Esmay Suiza and Brun Meager should be friends—they're both bright, brave, likable and adventurous. But true friendship doesn't run any smoother than true love. Brun thinks Esmay's a stuck-up prig, and Esmay thinks Brun's a spoiled rich brat who's making a play for Barin Serrano, Esmay's first love. So when Brun falls into the hands of a repressive religious militia movement, Esmay finds herself in disgrace, suspected of conniving at the capture. Even Barin, now being pursued by the beautiful and ambitious Casea Ferradi, has turned against her, and Brun's powerful family doesn't want Esmay anywhere near the rescue attempt.