The magical kingdom of Ashuliya is cut off from the rest of the world by an ancient curse. When the king is murdered, Princess Jaelyn knows she could be the next to die. After failing to convince the council to seek the murderer, and thwarting one attempt on her own life, her only option is to run away and hide. She undertakes a perilous journey on a frozen subterranean river, accompanied only by the cunning and aged wizard Itahid, hoping she will escape to the outside world.
Jaelyn hopes to someday return to find her father’s murderer, and claim the throne that has belonged to her family for generations. But first she has to survive in a world where only the superstitious believe in magic, and an unemployed princess is in danger of starving. Kent has no magic, but his skills are just what she needs while she and Itahid prepare to return to Ashuliya. When he insists on going with her, she wonders what good an alliance with a mundane can be. Perhaps his guns--and his love--can make a difference, but what of the future?