As the daughter of the duke, Ekata was born into a world of cut-throat politics and tenuous alliances. Unlike her siblings, though, all she wants to do is escape and study the life sciences she finds so fascinating. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances throw her into the thick of the court politics she has tried all her life to avoid. She must learn quickly how to navigate her situation and hold her head high if she wants to retain her position- and her life. I love the political intrigue throughout the book. It's not something that I've found done in a compelling way in many YA books, but Bartlett pulls it off wonderfully.