In the middle of the night, Nina Batten disappeared. No one expected to find the runaway peasant girl stowed aboard a trading ship heading for distant lands. But even Nina did not expect a storm to damage the ship and land her in an unexpected country. Without money, it was only days until she found herself in danger. Taking her only chance of escape, Nina stole a horse and galloped into the night. Unknowingly, Nina crossed the border into Abarae-the country warring with her homeland. A chance encounter with a mysterious man named Raduk sends her on a journey deep into the heart of enemy country. During her travels, Raduk agrees to help her if she will instruct him on the ways of The Faith, the most powerful institution in the world. But the life Nina left behind quickly catches up with her. She must return home or incur the wrath of The Faith.