Tazia and Duke Robard of Ardon have an arranged marriage, but the vindictive tales of her father's mistress has made the bride terrified of her new husband. The busy life of running a sky castle helps them put their problems to one side, and despite learning to work together, intimacy still evades them.
Strangers visit the local Eos, but they are not from any of the other indigenous tribes. Shortly after the visit a fatal illness attacks the already small numbers of the ghostly Eos, and they ask for help from the humans. Tazia and Robard willingly put their personal problems to one side while they help their friends avoid extinction.
They discover the truth about the visiting Eos, and their research points to a lost tribe in the Pator area. Robard and Tazia set out on a journey of discovery for the sake of their own happiness, and the future of the Eos and the planet.
The best features were the softness of the satin and the color. From this point on things went downhill. The neckline rose to a stiff collar jutting up so high under Tazia's chin it rubbed against her jaw. The bodice of the dress flopped against her bosom and looped down to the hips where it doubled back on itself like a half-filled sack. The full skirt, gathered into tiny pleats. White lace decorated every single possible place on the satin. Not delicate, filmy lace, but heavy knobbly lace which would be better used to edge a tablecloth.
"Now, if we pull up your hair like this." Halla grabbed a handful of Tazia's hair and yanked it up behind her head. "Now you look like the innocent you are."
Halla left her sitting carefully on her bed, with an admonishment not to move. One of the maids stayed with her to make sure Tazia didn't disturb Halla's creation. Tazia wondered if her father would intervene, but realized she'd left it too late. Fighting against Halla's wishes would be hard work.
Maybe I'll save my energies for the wedding. At least I'll only see Robard for a short time today.
A servant came to fetch her, but as Tazia headed for the Hall her footsteps dragged more and more. This meeting with Robard had given her nightmares and looking such a fright made it even worse.
The doors were flung open and Tazia took a deep breath before walking toward the group around the big table near the fire. At least there would be one friendly face at the ceremony, Jefor had accompanied Robard.
Her brother turned to her with a grin, which changed to confusion when he saw her dress. He glanced at Halla and shook his head.
The tall dark man standing talking to her father turned. The welcome on Duke Robard's lips faded and turned into a fixed smile as Tazia moved toward the group.
"There you are, my dear." Her father came forward to take her hand. "Looking lovely as usual."
For one small moment, Tazia wondered if her father could be blind, but realized women's fashions held no interest for him, so he had no idea how ridiculous his daughter looked. Her hand tugged at the bodice of the dress, in an attempt to make it sit better.
"Stop it, Tazia. Leave the dress alone." Halla's hiss came from behind her.
Her father offered his arm and they moved forward.