Julia is a strong-willed Englishwoman who knows what she wants, and she's working hard to achieve it. An Olympic gymnast, she's training hard every day in preparation for the upcoming games when tragedy strikes, and her world ends with a phone call. Her parents have been killed in a senseless car accident, killed by a drunk driver. Suddenly everything is different. Alone now but for her best friend and coach, she struggles to put her life back into some semblance of order by returning to her training, but the excitement and anticipation she once felt are missing. She's just going through the motions. One night while alone in the gym, something extraordinary happens, and her life will never be the same again.
On another world vastly removed from Julia's, a feeble king sits upon the throne of Deva, and traitorous lords scheme to take it from him. Only the lords of the four great fortresses remain vigilant and loyal to the kingdom. Deva seems doomed, as the legions of the Protectorate march. Lord Keverin of Fortress Athione is desperate to save his people and the land he serves, but magic has long since waned in Deva's people. He knows that without a sorcerer of their own to oppose the legion sorcerers, he's doomed to failure. He needs a champion, one strong enough to throw back the minions of the evil sorcerer Mortain, but where in all the worlds will they find such a man?
Only Darius, a good friend and powerful wizard, might know the answer. Without orders or the guidance of the king, he asks his friend for a solution and embarks upon a course that will surely see him damned by many. A spell is cast to bring a champion to his aid, but something goes wrong, and Julia Morton suddenly finds herself stranded on an alien world with no friends and no way home.