From the author: Gwan-yu is the Fourth Princess of Kwan, held back from marriage as a contingency while her father the Emperor tries to sire a son. As the years pass, she learns how to manage the empire, how to become her father's heir should her service be required, but she also meets Jing-lung, the son of a general, who is not a part of her father's plans at all.
I realized that Heaven had a different fate in store for me when Imperial Father married off my younger sister while I was still unwed. The celebration was held at the Palace of the Tranquil Sea, where the waters of the southern ocean lapped at sandy beaches and the dragons could easily climb from the surf to give their blessings. Guests consumed meat and wine, and tried not to look my way, to look at Fourth Princess with only a guardian lion at her feet and attendants for company.