1888 Hawaii is a paradise teetering on the brink of civil war. The tide has turned against the long-incumbent royal family, under the malevolent influence of a rebel party with links to the American government. Within months, the Palace is overthrown, and the royals are exiled. Among them is the beautiful Princess Ka'iulani. Scarcely 12 years old, she is separated from her family and her homeland, and, for her own safety, is sent to a climate and a country that couldn't be more different from Hawaii--Victorian England. Coming to terms with her fate, Ka'iulani underg s a harsh and testing education that equips her with a sense of honor, duty and pride. What's more, she falls in love with the spirited and rebellious young Englishman Clive Davies. Emerging from her childhood, and inspired by her blossoming romance, Ka'iulani realizes that she must do all that she can to bring an end to the injustices suffered by her people. She resolves to sail to America, to meet President Grover Cleveland, and to prove that she is much more than merely a 'barbarian princess.'