In this USA Today bestselling novel, a woman with power over fire and illusion and the enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy.
Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.
But this year is different.
Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. Unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.
To protect her family and village, she will abandon everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.
Draven (Madfall) creates an irresistible new world full of action and cataclysmic upheaval in this fantasy romance. Fire witch Gilene's village considers her duty-bound to burn on the Empire's sacrificial pyre, every year: she survives the fire and escapes. When her abilities are noticed, she's forced to fight in the service of a sadistic empress, and then famed gladiator Azarion ruthlessly coerces Gilene into helping him in escape slavery and reclaim his legacy. Draven adeptly shifts perspectives at just the right moments to masterfully build emotionally complex characters. Readers will be pulled in by the inner turmoil that besets this formidable pair of survivors, who are frequently at odds with each other, and themselves. As Azarion and Gilene's relationship shifts from an uneasy truce to admiration and ultimately love, Gilene must choose whether to return to doing her painful duty or embrace a new life at Azarion's side. Draven's outdone herself with this magnetic heroine and a magical world readers will be eager to return to.