At sixteen, Tamya is forced by her father to marry a wealthy older man. On her wedding night she resists her husband and is viciously beaten ... then watches in shock as he bursts into flames and burns to death before her eyes.
She flees her village and meets a sorceress who reveals that Tamya has the Touch--the ability to use magic--and brings her to the Temple of the Order to be trained ... but Tamya soon learns the Order's idea of training is more like torture, and acceptance will mean a life of servitude to the power-hungry High Mother, its leader.
Now, Tamya must make a choice: to serve the Order or to risk its wrath by becoming a rogue magic-user and fighting against it. But either way, she must learn how to wield her own unpredictable and dangerous power.