It is set in the advanced world where the humanity is known as the Vivitare, and is told from the perspective of Ahvren and his sister Sabri: the former is a disillusioned soldier, the latter an unwilling bride-to-be of the emperor's son. Neither are happy with their position: however, Ahvren is now on the verge of resolving the mystery of the so-cold T'Chin in time. Meanwhile, rumors swirl that the Vivitare emperor is marked for an assassination as part of a slowly unfolding conspiracy...
This novel contains examples of:
- Arranged Marriage: Sabri is engaged to marry Prince Dravik, the emperor's heir and an all-around creep. Her brother spends most of the book trying to get her out of it. He fails, and she takes matters into her own hands.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Ahvren, part of his PTSD after fighting in a war.
- Fiery Redhead: Sabri. Ahvren lampshades it by remembering an old myth that red-haired Vivitare are the descendants of a volcano god.
- Happily Adopted: Although Sabri's relationship with her adoptive parents has soured by the time of the story, she and her brother Ahvren remain close.
- Humans by Any Other Name: The Vivitare.