The modern-day Hadassah, introduced to readers in the previous novel, is the wife of Israel's Prime Minister, with all its reflected power but also its isolation. The inner pain she feels as her beloved land and people are terrorized by political strife and bombings is made even more personal as her own father comes under attack. And then she learns of information that could have tragic repercussions on Jews living in Iraq, where Queen Esther had laid her own life on the line to save her people. The successor to Xerxes has no love for the Jews, and when he discovers the Star of David medallion on Leah (the young queen's candidate Esther wrote to in Hadassah), he is outraged. Leah is delegated to the "rejected" category, virtually a prisoner for life in the king's palace, with no hope and no future. Will Queen Esther and Mordecai be able to rescue Leah from the "ash heap" of Persian royal tradition? And even if they can, will Leah ever be able to truly love someone after all she has been through?