Living on the dark mining planet of Kleedan, I see only a bleak future. I’ve sold my body to the men of Avalere, but it wasn’t enough. I need to do more. Desperate, willing to sacrifice anything to feed my mother and sister, I pretend to be one of the pure women of The Circle trained to be mated to the warriors. In so doing, I trick the formidable Duke into marrying me. He must never learn of my deception.
I scorn the very idea of “love,” only agreeing to the utilitarian institution of marriage to better serve my people. I do my duty and claim a woman, drawn to her beauty and purity. Not long after the marriage ceremony, I discover her lie. She will pay dearly for deceiving me. Marked by me, she will learn to call me master.