The past never forgets . . .Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget the horrors of the past. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.
When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer… one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.
“I love the magic Lucier weaves through this dark yet hopeful tale. I devoured it in one sitting!”–Kristin Cashore, author of the New York Times bestselling Graceling Realm books
“A beautifully crafted novel containing everything I love in an epic fantasy: complex characters and relationships, excellent world building, and a compelling story full of twists and turns.”–Juliet Marillier, author of the Blackthorn & Grim and Warrior Bards series
“Fascinating…part political mystery, part dark adventure fantasy, this is a book you’ll want to devour in one sitting. Deeply satisfying.” —School Library Journal, STARRED review
“Lucier wastes no time in this gripping mystery: Every twist is carefully plotted, and the worldbuilding is intricate yet effortless…A captivating stand-alone fantasy.”—Kirkus
“Themes of loss, sorrow, and moral conflict, balanced by a delicate and emotionally mature romance, suffuse Lucier’s novel set in a time of plague…The gripping narrative glides along via Lucier’s spare, deftly employed prose style, while Cas’s fiercely affectionate relationship with his brother Ventillas lends the plot particular warmth, deepening its moving and thought-provoking depictions of various characters.”—Publishers Weekly
“A stunning new read, with a compelling central mystery and detailed worldbuilding. Readers will try and unfold the mystery as Cas does, delighting as the pieces begin to fall together. Lucier is a masterful storyteller, and this fantasy feels absolutely timeless.” –Rachel Strolle, teen services librarian and BuzzFeed contributor