Years of war between the Children of Air, Land, and Sea have exhausted the lives and resources of its people. Nobles and royals must all spend twenty years at least serving as peace healers to those who were devastated during these conflicts. Many of the old ways have changed. Ishana, the youngest of her sisters, remains alone in the old Fortress of Elspeem, preparing for her time to go forth and serve. But a young mermaid, Uaso, changes everything when she rescues a drowning man and turns to Ishana for help. Though barely thirteen years old, Uaso wishes to marry the man and begs Ishana for her help. Ishana must make her decision while also deciding whether to take advantage of an opportunity that could save her from the hardship and risks of the service time. But all is not as simple as it seems, and Ishana must discover the truth before she destroys herself and what she holds most dear.