Artwork created by La’Vata Elise.
Hidden journeys define Abigail’s life. As a younger woman, she turned away from her aristocratic family, causing a rift between her and her brother Iyar. Abigail finds a quiet life in Nifla where she studies and teaches young children near her lush garden with its healing plants.
When Iyar encounters mysterious desert horsemen who commission him for a strange assignment, the visitation reopens the wound between sister and brother. Iyar’s assignment becomes yet another journey for Abigail as she guides him with her seeing gift.
Tamiym can’t remember a time when she wasn’t reading a tablet, asking a question, or studying the stars. Learning surrounds her in Chaniya, the haven of Seth’s renowned scholars, and learning drives her dreams. She yearns to know the world beyond her family’s farm on the grassy edge of the desert.
During a trip to the City of Kings, Tamiym’s curiosity opens the door to her future. Tamiym and her father glimpse four hooded figures in the field where wild and beautiful blooms grow in an emmer wheat field. Then Tamiym notices a hymn filling the air. Her father can’t hear it.
While musing about the song, Lord Shammah, the king’s heir, intercepts them on the road. To Tamiym, it’s a clash between a poor farmer’s daughter and a prince. But the unexpected meeting challenges Tamiym’s perceptions about herself and the changing kingdom.
Groomed to be a queen, Mahalath accepts that she can’t pursue what she wants. She’s destined to be queen, and her husband will be Shammah. While she has feelings for someone else, Mahalath knows her role as the first-born daughter of an aristocratic family. No other destiny awaits her but the throne. All that changes when the Mikana sack the City of Kings. Her resolve to fulfill her family’s plans will face an inescapable test.
In Aikah’s palace, Shammah has every opportunity to learn and explore as the king’s adopted heir. Looming ahead is the promise of a kingdom. But life in the palace weighs on Shammah. Overshadowing every privilege are the ruthless actions of his enigmatic father.
Eventually Shammah rebels against his father. Crushed by Shammah recklessness, Aikah banishes him. The years away from Seth allow Shammah to flourish as a scholar, a sailor, and an explorer of culture and philosophies. Content, Shammah shows no desire to return home but has no choice when Aikah summons him from his deathbed. As he travels back to the City of Kings, encounter after encounter redirects him from wandering toward discovering a purpose he never realized he had.
Iyar never cares about anyone else but himself. Ignoring others keeps him from caring about their pain and feeling his. It’s worked for decades as he’s buried his humanity and pursued acquiring more wealth, even if it hurts others, and losing himself in luxuries.
When forced to look at himself and change his ways, Iyar resists. But even a rich man has to bow down to someone greater than himself.