Maia Author:Richard Adams Knoff (c) 1984 — Publication date 1984 — Book Club Edition — Maia - a simple but instinctively brave and generous girl whose deeds will become legend... who will be celebrated as well for her ravishing beauty, which she alone understands is both a blessing and a curse. — Maia - growing up as eldest daughter in a poor fisherman's family in a remote c... more »orner of the mythical Beklan Empire, leading a quiet, sheltered life (helping with the younger children, mending her stepfather's nets, swimming in the waters of Lake Serrelind)... until one day, the victim of a horrifying act of deceit, she finds herself en route to Bekla itself, to be sold as a concubine, completely cut off from her family and her past, friendless except for the young black woman, Occula, also on her way into slavery.
It is Occula - a foreigner, a violent and cunning sorceress - who saves Maia, instructs and protects her, preparing her to deal with her fate. Together, sold to a powerful Beklan nobleman, they are introduced to a world of luxury and depravity, of dazzling and seductive pleasures, and are enmeshed in a web of fierce political intrigue as they spend their days and nights in the company of Bekla's richest, most influential, most ruthless and ambitious citizens.
And when the empire itself - suddenly in political and military convulsion - becomes imperiled, it is Maia alone who can prevent its destruction. At a moment of grave crisis she risks her life - as well as her future with the young soldier she has fallen deeply in love with - to save the Beklan army. She becomes a national heroine, famous throughout the Empire.... And yet she herself remains caught up in danger and despair...« less