"Our eyes were not permitted to look either to our left or rigth; our noses must always touch the cold marble;our rumps always to be thrust high and tightly back, our knees and feet widely placed. We would hear only th vague whisper of the Royal Sister's silk slippers as she walked slowly behind our sprawled feet. Sometimes we might just catch the faint sound of the split-bamboo cane brushing against her robes." Ruled by the Grand Lady, The Pavilion of The Divine Orchid Ladies is a dangerous place for sevants and concubines alike. Escape is impossible; survival an ever tenuous state. Neglected by the aging emperor, the Honourable Sisters resort to alternative but forbidden pleasures. And within this turmoil of petty jealousies, cruel perversities and formidable mistresses, the manslave Shani must so often serve as a plaything, lover, whipping boy, and so much else. His position is made even more precarious when he becomes torn between his devotion and fascination for His Royal Mistress, and his love for the maidservant, Li Mei.