Yeine Darr is a half-breed. She was raised in the hinterlands. Although she was raised to rule and her father was the prince of his little country, she's still the half-savage, unfashionable, rude barbarian with no grasp of civilization. At least that's what her mother's courtiers think of her. She's too short and she looks different. Nobody, least of all she, is happy that her grandfather the emperor has summoned his granddaughter to court where his potential heirs are competing. She's nearly murdered within the first few hours and it doesn't get any better from there. This novel is the first in a series but it does stand alone quite well. The author has said that each new book will center around a new main character and the characters from other books will become side notes. So it's not the usual fantasy commitment of at least three novels to try out this new author.