Kisten Mara Sant is a man with a problem. He's disgraced his conservative, politically ambitious family, torpedoed a promising naval career, and only barely escaped being put to death for treason after brawling with his uncle in the middle of the senate floor. His uncle, who happens to be the senate minority leader and heir to the throne of the empire. After Kisten's father, who is both the chancellor of the empire and his cousin's bitter political rival, pulled every string at his disposal, Kisten's sentence was commuted to exile: as governor of a disease-ridden mining outpost teetering on the edge of rebellion where running water is an almost unheard-of luxury and the native population is terrified of toilets. He decides to have one last hurrah before meeting his certain doom but, instead of the fun he'd hoped for, he winds up with a hangover and an unwanted accomplice: a terrified urchin of a girl who hates him, and does her best to sabotage him at every turn. And that's when things really get bad.