Imperial Princess Jenevra Couressime is an unwelcome reminder to her family of an incident they would all rather forget-the murder of her parents. Often ignored, fourteen-year-old Jenevra is not surprised when she is sent from court to a rigidly disciplined life in exile. Hopeful that she will never have to see any of her family again, Jenevra soon finds a cold satisfaction in the harsh discipline of a Temple Order. Jenevra becomes an assassin of chilling efficiency-perfectly equipped to serve as protector to her cousin, who happens to be the new Emperor. But after her return to court thrusts her unwillingly back into palace life and intense military challenges, Jenevra must face emotional upheaval and confrontation as she attempts to reconcile with her family. As Jenevra contends with senior officers in the imperial army, she learns the truth about why she was chosen to bear a talisman that seems intent on pulling her into the darkest shadows of her mind. Unexpected twists and turns soon surround a young princess constantly challenged to prove herself-and who will soon discover that her carefully constructed defenses are not quite as impenetrable as she once thought.