After several false starts, Brienna is just about to become a passion of knowledge - someone who is recognized as a master of his or her field. As she nears the date when all the passions in her school hope to find a patron who will support them Brienna senses a change in her relationship with Master Cartier, her knowledge teacher. Before they have a chance to investigate their feelings further, Brienna finds herself without a patron and remaining behind at school while Cartier leaves for the summer. Brienna has been experiencing memories from an ancestor that indicate the location of a missing relic that would help regain the throne of the neighboring country for its rightful ruler. When she mentions these visions to her headmistress she becomes a key player in a secret, dangerous plot to unseat the king on the throne.
That description doesn't do the plot justice because there's a great deal more depth and intrigue than indicated by my overview. Brienna is a strong, straightforward character and I enjoyed watching her lend her all to the cause. I've seen so many books that have the same plot over and over that I kept expecting there to be a big twist about her heritage or powers or abilities - and I guess there was something but it was not unexpected - but she is just a loyal girl who is willing to fight for what's right. This world contains magic but it is not an active part of most of the story so I'd put this in the category of straight up adventure, and a fun one with a satisfying resolution. My one issue is that the relationship between Brienna and Master Cartier gave me the heeby jeebies, especially after it was clear they liked each other but she called him "Master" on occasion. That's probably an age thing. I doubt my teens will feel the ickiness the way I did.