After her mother's death, Marissa believes she's alone in the galaxy and is shocked to discover her father, Davo, alive. Unfortunately, he lives on the planet Darinth. Darinth, known throughout the galaxy for its dominant men and ruthless treatment of women, is not a place for a single woman, especially one as unfamiliar with Darinth as Marissa. Despite her misgivings, she believes Davo's promise of protection and agrees to visit the planet. Unfortunately Davo has rivals and one of them, Kytar, sees Marissa as a tool to increase his power. Kytar plans a simple kidnapping. He won't hurt Marissa, he'll just hold her until Davo pledges his political support. Kytar uses Darinthian magic to bind Marissa, but didn't count on the magic trapping them both. Marissa vows she won't surrender to Kytar and challenges the binding. Infuriated, Kytar knows he has to break her defiance before they face the ancient challenge ritual. Failure means death. He won't fail.