Tara is taken to live in sultan Ibrahim's desert fortress. Since assuming power at eighteen, Ibrahim had established a vast empire where the arts flourished and religious tolerance meant peace. There, Tara joins Ibrahim's wives, each representing a region and religion, and quickly grows to love the exotic people and their rituals.
Ibrahim is consumed by Tara's beauty and passion, and she quickly becomes his exclusive nightly companion. Tara's intelligence bonds her to Ibrahim's very first wife, Kiren. Together, Tara and Kiren serve Ibrahim, Tara as his lover and Kiren as his political advisor.
As jealousy simmers among Ibrahim's wives, a southern governor, Bhaji, builds power by encouraging Hindu nationalism against Ibrahim's empire. Working against both time and karma, Tara, Kiren, and Ibrahim must devise a strategy to confront the tide of unrest. The task seems insurmountable as culture, religion, and ethnic politics collide in this riveting story of love, faith, and karmic tragedy.