In the cities along the river Ihil, the nomad tribes of the Middle Desert are almost as legendary as the gods. Sardeet is the youngest daughter of the Bandit Queen of the Oclaresh, but her father was a man of the city, and after her husband's death, he brings her to her uncle to recover from her grief.
She walks veiled and silent, as befits one who is rumoured to be the widow of a god, and the people of the city whisper about how beautiful she must be for those rumours to be abroad. They generally dismiss the other part of the story, that the reason her husband is dead is because her sister killed him.
Sardeet's sister Pali, however, knows that this is true--and that there are consequences.