From the back of the book: "Long had the King's line been sursed by fate with one prince too many. In each generation, twin boys were born, heris to a throne only one could hold. But Kind Pardu decreed that when the time was right, he would abide by the old magic, would call in heart readers, magic-bound pairs who could see into a person's very sould and read the nature of his or her heart. But the King could not foresee the future, a future in which his cruel, ambitious chief advisor would try to coerce the heart readers into championing the prince he was certain he could make his puppet. And only time would tell whether heart readers could trimuph over fear, the lust for vengence, and an all to personal betrayal to read the true path for king and kingdom..."
The book centers around the heart readers Stashie and Dasis. Stashie was raped and tramatuzed by Tarne, a commander on a campaign to conquer peaceful villages through fear and brute force. Dasis found Stashie half-dead, unable and unwilling to speak of what happened to her. They grew closer and found they had the talent for heart reading, where they avoid Leanda until the need for money forced Stashie to face the place she feared to return to. Once there, Stashie had to face her fears, and Dasis learned why she should be fearful.
This book is a powerful, stand-alone novel full of detail of thier world and plight. However, if violence disturbs you, I wouldn't recommend this book--it certainly isn't a book for children. Though, the violence isn't merely a device sued to attract readers; it shows how the characters are changed by it. Overall, a good read if you can find it :)