Lilliane Tor, a renowned empathic healer from Rimland, learns the cost of keeping her oath when she saves the life of Jahnissim Hal Zev, a member of the nomadic and insular Tisreen and becomes entangled in a diplomatic nightmare. A fugitive from her own land, and in search of her missing sister, she escapes to Tisreen with Zev and enters a bewildering world of a rigid religion and culture, where women’s roles are tightly controlled and political disputes are settled on the edge of a blade. And where hudessh, or The Divine Obligation, is as binding as any healer’s oath.
That Zev owes his life to a woman, and one who doesn’t follow his beliefs challenges the foundations of his identity. When he finds evidence of an illegal slave trade poisoning the heart of both their countries, Zev must learn to trust Lilliane, working with her against a common evil. Their quest to unravel the truth, rescue Lilliane’s sister, and expose the trade threatens their lives, the stability of two governments, and the core of their own beliefs about one another.