Princess Sabine Katerina Annaatje of Dulce is outside the safety of the castle walls, on the run from a vicious invader who has killed her family and usurped her throne. With only one man at arms and a faithful handmaiden, she barely escapes the Invader's clutches. But only for so long - he has vowed to leave no blood heir alive. Stumbling into a camp of itinerant performers, Sabine hides her identity, becoming Katerin of Aimsbury. She learns to trust the leader of the traveling circus, Ros Adamsson, a bawdy woman who is half rogue and half gentlewoman. Trust may eventually blossom into more if Katerin can overcome her fear and conservative upbringing. Meanwhile, the Invader still searches for her. A rumored uprising in the Dulce Province, a royal summons for the Adamsson Circus, and a traitorous servant all collide to reveal a secret even deeper than Katerin's identity.