Blinded by the Sun. by Catherine Johnson.
There are certain traditions that Vuthron embraces; traditions that have been the cause of wars in the past, but the country holds its customs sacred. Their practices have become more refined over the centuries, but they still require living bodies to fulfill them, and the slavers of the south deliver what the Vuthroans need.
Lyssia’s home is in the unforgiving desert of Sannarrell, or at least, it used to be. She was almost captured as a child by slave traders from Veltharesh, so her family sent her away to safety. Now her home is with the other refugees and rebels in Sken, a city hidden under the baking sands of the Southern Wastelands. They raid passing trade caravans to survive, and do their best to save their people from the clutches of Vuthron.
A trap is set, and Lyssia is caught and sold. She finds herself in the royal castle, in the seat of the ruling power of Vuthron, beholden to her new master’s whims. Her prison is not as secure as one might think, but the momentary break brings terror rather than freedom. Lyssia finds that, perhaps, escape isn’t everything she thought she wanted.
And when all is said and done, King Kavrazel finds that perhaps he’s the one who’s been ensnared.