Brianna Miller returns to Dolvia where tribal women protest the oppressive rule of Rabbenu Ely by self-torchings in the Cylay Square. Brianna re-establishes her tribal schools and takes on assistant Kelly Osborn who is mixed blood and also a poet.
Kelly visits a neighboring planet Cicero where her aunt Carline Bryant takes over her education. While returning to Dolvia, Kelly meets the Australian adventurer Hershel Henry who has signed on for a tour of Dolvia as a photo-journalist. Henry takes an opportunity to interview the khalif on the opposing side of the tribal wars.