Dr Christina Devenish, Suffragist and Theosophist, is running a birth control clinic in Bombay in 1931. When the clinic is burnt down in an independence riot, her father invites her to visit him in Bhutan, where he is an advisor at the court of the Shabdrung, Bhutan's version of the Dalai Lama. Arriving in Calcutta, Christina joins a British expedition to Bhutan led by Major Owen Davies, a tough Political Officer. Davies has the covert brief to resolve, even by 'drastic action', the rivalry between the Shabdrung and the Maharaja, Bhutan's temporal ruler. Christina's father is deeply embroiled in the Great Game: and for Davies, he's on the wrong side. As Christina and Owen Davies journey toward the Himalayas, they begin a hungry love affair, knowing that other loyalties will soon intrude; and when Christina meets the Shabdrung, the young god-king's effect on her leads to a devastating final act.