Many years have passed since the Eminence Nekantor and the Heir Adon inherited power. Now, a sinister change has occurred: the Imbati Service Academy suspects that Xinta, the Manservant to the Eminence, may have taken control of Nekantor for his own purposes. Imbati Catín, an Academy prodigy, vows service to the Heir with two purposes that she must balance--to advance her Master's designs on power, and to determine the full extent of Xinta's influence. Then, a man named Akrabitti Corbinan unbalances everything by walking into a place where he doesn't belong.
Catín and her Master are summoned to investigate a newly discovered hidden library, and Catín immediately arrests Corbinan for trespassing. In a fury, the Eminence seizes him, believing he's a spy who sought to topple the government, and Xinta vanishes him before Catín can determine his intent. What dangerous information does the library contain? What was Corbinan really seeking? And what might happen if someone more dangerous finds him first?