Milenda is the Jewel of the Crown of Natale and is set to become ruler. Ancient traditions state, she must select a husband upon her 18th birthday. Men vying for her hand must face the trial, which is set up in accordance with the Elders wishes. A trial that is as older than the Elders themselves and just as deadly but the men who face the trials do so without knowing that the odds have been stacked against them by these cruel and malicious old men. The men have presented themselves before the Jewel to receive her favour but one sends the fear of death into her upon seeing his face. Milenda has already found the love of her life but knows she can not go against traditions let alone the Elders.
Jaali is a former slave that has won his freedom. He teaches at the university and that is how he met his love, Milenda. He knows that in order to be accepted as one worthy of her hand he must face the Elders and the trial they have set before him before they can be man and wife and Milenda can claim the throne. Jaali is determined to win but he starts to realise that the Elders have their own agenda and that does not include Jaali and a happily ever after with Milenda, the Jewel of the Crown. Jaali heads to the desert to start the trials he has to face his deepest fears and fight for his life.
Meanwhile Milenda discovers that the Palace is full of secrets, lies and mystery when it comes to the Elders, causing her to face the problems thrown at her. The Elders do not want Jaali to survive and marry the Jewel,l in fact the Elders plans are very different to those of Melinda and that of the Goddess and Natale. Melinda has been given a gift, gifted to her by the Orisa. Shel learns that her gift may be the one thing that may save her love and could mean his survival, but is it really a gift?
If you like a book with mystery and intrigue then this book is for you.
Reviewed by @jennadb