Tessa McCamfrey, young and rootless resident of Southern California, has never found much in life that interests her. All of that changes when she stumbles upon a ring that transports her to a distant time and place. There she discovers her unexpected talent: She can create luminous, magical illustrations that have the power to influence others' lives. She becomes involved in the fate of kingdoms when her power is brought to bear against an evil king whose mind has been taken over by a golden crown called the Barbed Coil. As in The Book of Words trilogy, J. V. (Julie) Jones imbues every one of her characters with personality, from the dashing mercenary Ravis, who becomes Tessa's protector in this strange new world, to the sailors, innkeepers, soldiers, and others who populate her lush, involving story.