Priest and history teacher, Pagaose was rewarded by the gods for his good deeds. Reshaped into the perfect image of an emperor, he is dropped from the sky on the appointed day and marked by the messenger of the gods. Most of the College of Wizards was too drunk to notice and the rest don't want a new emperor. While the aristocrats plot to kill Pagaose, Sandarac, the ruler of the north, invades to take Center by force. To save Center, Pagaose needs help from Pinetto, Tashi, Sarajah, and her island kingdom full of pirates. To help her claim her throne, all Pagaose can offer are a few prisoners, retired soldiers, and a little advice.
With no allies left, in the middle of a siege, Pagaose has to pick a wife candidate from each country and aristocratic circle to compete in the annual Dance of the Virgins, but someone is thinning the list as fast as he can name them. And then there's the dragon . . .
Did I mention this was a reward?