The Honourable Richard Brooke, the younger son of the Earl of Grandbrooke becomes a close friend of Prince Ivan of Karlova. The Prince however does not use his title as he is incognito. He is therefore known as Ivan Sazon. As is usual in aristocratic families, Richard, as the second son is ordained and is then appointed to a Parish in Oxford. Prince Ivan is often at his house and it was not long before he falls in love with Richard's sister Elizabeth, who is very beautiful. They marry and are very happy for six years and have one child, whom they christen Tarena. Unexpectedly Ivan is called back to Karlova because his father, the King, has died and he has to take his place. He also learns that he is expected to save Karlova and its adjacent country Dubnik from the Russians, who are determined to annex both countries. To do so he has to marry Princess Catrina of Dubnik. Shortly afterwards Elizabeth dies and Tarena goes to live with her Uncle Richard. Tarena is very happy with her uncle and takes her mother's place in tending the garden and helping in the Parish. Then King Ivan dies and it is a tremendous shock to Tarena to learn that she must go to Karlova, become Queen and marry Prince Igor of Dubnik. This will save Karlova from the Russians and she goes with Queen Victoria's blessing. Frightened but convinced that she must follow in her father's footsteps, Tarena travels to Karlova aboard a British Battleship accompanied by her uncle. How Tarena is taught the language of Karlova by the dashing Count Vladimir in charge of the Escort of Karlovan soldiers on board. And how she succeeds in astounding and defying the Russians, at the same time falling in love, is all told in this fast moving tale by BARBARA CARTLAND.