The main character in the novel is Orual, Psyche's half-sister. Orual and her sister Redival are the daughters of their father, the King of Glome, and his first wife. The book begins with Orual stating that she is writing to accuse the gods of depriving her life of all happiness. She explains that she is old and dying, and has no reason to fear the gods' punishment for her complaint. Then she goes on to tell about her childhood, the day the king's second wife came, and when Psyche was born. Psyche's name in the language of Glome is Istra, but Orual was taught Greek by her slave tutor, and likes to refer to her half-sister by the Greek version of her name. Orual dotes on Psyche and loves her like a mother, a child and a sister. She believes Psyche is perfect. Things get messy when she stops believing that.
Over all, it was a very interesting book, and one that I will probably read again at another point in life to see if I get more out of it. (Yeah, it's one of those books.) I recommend it, especially if you're looking for a challenging-but-fun book!