Ildiko is a human woman, the less than favoured niece of the Gauri king. To cement an important political alliance she’s been promised in marriage to Prince Brishen of Bast-Haradis, a Kai warrior and the younger son to the ruthless ruling couple. Humans and Kai, for all that they share similar anatomical traits are very different, both in looks and cultural values. The Kai have black, unreadable eyes, sharp features, grey skin, long claws and a mouth full of sharp fangs and are considered quite terrifying by the humans. Their eyes are very sensitive to light, so they are nocturnal. The Kai think the pale pink skin of humans reminiscent of the mollusks they use to make a distinctive dye and that their watery, ever-changing eyes are very unnerving, yet Brishen and Ildiko are perfectly prepared to do their duty and marry. They have a brief, but honest chat before the ceremony and decide that they at least like their future partner.
Having never really felt all that welcome with at the Gauri court, Ildiko wants to leave and live with her new husband immediately. While neither of them are considered significant politically, they are just pawns in an alliance, enemies of Bast-Haradis want the treaty with Gauri broken, and try to kill Ildiko and Brishen on their way back to his homeland. At the royal court of Bast-Haradis, Ildiko has to survive the whimsical cruelty of her new mother in law, but all the while, the growing friendship with her new husband helps her adjust to her new life. While they are from very different cultures, Ildiko and Brishen like and respect each other from the very first, and slowly those feelings transform into love and attraction. All they want is to live in peace in Brishen’s fortress at the border of Bast-Haradis, but there are forces that want war and there is danger in their future.