As that simple story and coupled with the romance, Rhuna had plenty of appeal to me as a reader. The story essentially revolved around Rhuna (a young village girl who is different from her peers, by nature of her skin colour and appearance). Her paleness speaks to her long, lost father who was from a different culture, the Atlans.
When Rhuna meets a Master from the Atlan culture, Tozar, he takes her back to his homeland where she is educated and schooled in the ways of her father's culture. She proves to be very successful and quickly becomes a valued member of Atlan society. All is not well, though, in Atlan. A Master who defected to the dark side many years ago and who has long been considered dead is actually creating a cult following for himself among other primitive tribes.
This is a very gentle story, that rolls along quite nicely and I enjoyed it for that. It was only later in the book that questions began to be raised and considered about utopian societies, of which Atlan clearly was one. The age-old question of "who watches the watchers?" reared its ugly head.
As I said, this is a nice, easy read on a purely fictional, superficial level, but the extra depth these questions about utopian societies give this book is what makes it stand out in its genre.
What it did do, was give me a desire to read on about Rhuna and see what happens next with her, Tozar and of course, The Dark Master.
A very satisfying read and well worth the five-stars I am giving it. Good job Barbara Underwood.