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On the heels of a global epidemic, a Holy New Order has arisen, one in which females are subjugated.
For Maree Krystek, the pharmaceutical mind-wipe that ushered in the New Order failed, a fact she manages to conceal, but which makes her service as the Prophet’s concubine unendurable. But endure she does—until her sister Zophia is identified as a breeder, a soul-destroying fate of birthing infants, only to surrender them to wet nurses to expedite the next breeding.
Maree escapes with Zophia, but once outside the Compound, they must elude not just soldiers, but the roaming bands of Reprobates, violent criminals loosed into the wild to discourage such escapes.
The Prophet wants the women returned to face his wrath, but he also knows that if anyone can locate Society Three, the whispered-about haven for non-believers, it’s Maree. He tasks Kallem Marsh, Captain of the First Guard, to follow the women to the rebel base before apprehending them.
When Reprobates menace the women, Kallem intervenes to save them. To salvage his mission, he tells the two he was cast out in disgrace over their escape and has no loyalty to the Prophet. Maree doesn’t trust him an inch, but she knows they’ll need his help to survive the quest for Society Three.
Yet Maree remembers something from “before”, something Kallem does not—a shared desire that once scorched her teenage soul.