1833: The British Navy are conducting a survey of the Arabian Peninsula where slavery is as rife as ever despite being abolished.
Zena, a headstrong and determined young Abyssinian beauty has been torn from her remote village, subjected to a tortuous journey and is now being offered for sale in the market of Muscat.
Lieutenant James Wellstead is determined that his time aboard HMS Palinurus will be the conduit to fame and fortune. However, all his plans are thrown into disarray when two of his fellow officers go missing while gathering intelligence in the desert.
By an unexpected twist of fate - Zena finds herself the property of Wellstead, now on a daring rescue mission into forbidding territory. Master and slave are drawn ever closer, but as danger faces them at every turn, they must endure heartache and uncertainty - neither of them knowing what fortune awaits them as they make their hazardous way through the shifting sands.