Ismay lives in a world where marriage is a union of compatibility so skills will mutually benefit both parties. Things such as love and affection are primitive and uncivilized. She, now of age and completed her training, is ready to marry. Ismay attends to the annual gathering where unions are brokered, bargained and dealt. A king from kingdom long thought dead arrives at the gathering and he has taken an interest in her. King Gabriel requests to take Ismay as his first wife. Despite her reservations about him, Ismay accepts at her father's urging. She attempts to teach the ignorant king the rules of matrimony but King Gabriel has his own plans. He seems determined to have a completely unorthodox marriage involving companionship, affection...and love.