Clan conflicts drive a novel of broken alliances, assassination, tales of a secret place told to a little girl, a desperate flight to find safety, and the descendants of renegade Earth scientists marooned on a storm-ravaged planet as volatile as its politics.

Her husband murdered, the pregnant Janvian seeks refuge in the Wilde. The power-mad mystic, Sage, has driven her there, in order that the lightning-charged air will turn her baby into a mystic and, eventually, a hereditary monarch. Sage plans to kill her and take the baby to raise for his own purposes.

Janvian, who has temporarily abdicated her position as monarch, must reclaim her position within a year, or lose it forever. And her only hope for assistance lies with the Mirage Clan—which might not even exist!