When a foreign nation conquers her land, Zena, an apprentice snake charmer and mind master, becomes a slave in the Emperor's harem. A sadist runs the harem and the Emperor is a temperamental drug addict.
Determined to escape, she resists those who urge her to start a slave revolt. Heroes have short lives and violent deaths. Soon, though, she learns the power of friendship and love and can no longer turn her back on the suffering of others. As life in the harem becomes increasingly perilous, Zena begins to wonder if her only hope of survival is to lead a rebellion.