Know he will succeed when all others fail you?so reads the fateful letter of introduction which heralds the beginning of Marya's desperate journey. When the Ktar chooses Marya to watch over the heir on his confirmation journey, she has no illusions about a pleasant trip. A prophecy concerning the heir's death, ominous dreams of a mysterious city, and the certainty one of the heir's companions will betray him all weigh heavily on her. Unfortunately, the discovery of the assassin in their midst is only the beginning. His menace pales in comparison to the ancient evil lurking in the mountain city. When Marya and her party are trapped and the men with her enslaved, she is forced into a battle of wills and hearts with two remaining choices: give in to the alien being who offers her power and prestige, or join forces with the same handsome assassin she sought to thwart. Lives are at stake and so are her heart and her honor - how can she choose?