'A marvelous and inventive storyteller' Sarah J Maas, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
At Zalindov, the only person you can trust is yourself.
Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan is a survivor. For ten years, she has worked as the healer in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, making herself indispensable. Kept afloat by messages of hope from her family, Kiva has one goal and one goal only: stay alive.
Then one day the infamous Rebel Queen arrives at the prison on death's door and Kiva receives a new message: Don't let her die. We are coming.
The queen is sentenced to the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals. Aware the sickly queen has little chance of making it through the Trials alive, Kiva volunteers to take her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
But no one has ever survived.
And with an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva's heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can't escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.
From bestselling Australian author Lynette Noni comes a masterful and action-packed YA fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir.
Kiva Meridan, 17, has been locked inside Zalindov prison since she and her father, Faran, were apprehended a decade earlier for suspected treason against the crown. Faran served as the prison's healer until he died, leaving Kiva to inherit the role. Over the years, her relatives have smuggled in notes pledging rescue, but she's losing hope when the recently captured Rebel Queen, Tilda Corentine, arrives in Zalindov's infirmary. Though Tilda is ill and unconscious, the warden gives Kiva just one week to prepare her for Trial by Ordeal four nigh-impossible elemental challenges that the woman must survive to prove her innocence. Shortly thereafter, Kiva's family sends a message: "Don't let her die. We are coming." Despite Kiva's best efforts, Tilda fails to improve, so to buy their saviors time, Kiva volunteers as her champion. Subplots involving an incurable prison-wide plague and the arrival of a handsome new inmate, Jaren, add mystery and romance to this high-stakes trilogy opener from Noni (the Whisper series). The pacing is leisurely and not every reveal bears scrutiny, but emotionally rich characters invest readers in their fates and drive the tale to a mind-boggling close. Ages 12 up.)\n