Mirasol is a beekeeper, a honey-gatherer, with an ability to speak to the ÒearthlinesÓÑthe sentient parts of Willowlands, where she lives. The concerns of Master, Chalice, and Circle, who govern Willowlands, have nothing to do with herÑuntil the current Master and Chalice die in a fire and leave no heirs to take their places. The MasterÕs closest relative has been a priest of Fire for the past seven years; he is not quite human anymore. And then the Circle comes to Marisol and tells her that she is the new Chalice, and it will be up to her to bind the land and its people with a Master, the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone. . . .