The fourteenth son of the king of the northern kingdom has a duty to go to the capital of the far away empire to study the uncertain arts. Which is something that Jarl, the current fourteenth son of king Tormund, is not looking forward to. He would much rather stay in the kingdom and sow his royal oats among the commoners. The only advantage of leaving is that he will at least get away from his stepmother, Queen Else.
His father, who has even lower expectations for his son than Jarl does himself, sends Sigrid, a Sister of Infinite Mercy, with his no-good son to the south. That way, the king hopes, his son will at least not get himself killed.
On their travels Jarl and Sigrid discover a strange new world completely different from the one they know. And with strangeness, especially that of the uncertain arts of magic, comes danger.