A young alchemist turns to dark magic when a deadly plague sweeps through her homeland in this epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis.
Seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy with only one goal in mind: master the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island's wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn't quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen.
Until she meets Greggori "Grey" Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that's for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the north, and it's making its way toward the cities. With her family's life--and the lives of all of Lunar Island's citizens--on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.
Grey and Nedra grow close, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy's most dangerous corners--and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.
The Wasting Death plague is ravaging northern Lunar Island, so when local teenager Nedra Brysstain receives a scholarship to study medicinal alchemy at Yugen Academy, she's elated. Nedra will miss home, but the possibility of learning something that could save her loved ones is worth the sacrifice. Nedra's fellow students scorn her rustic roots, but curmudgeonly department chair Phillious Ostrum respects her dedication and collaborates with Nedra to find a remedy. As the epidemic intensifies and nears Nedra's village, she eschews romance with classmate Greggori in favor of a grueling daily cycle of research and hospital rounds. Evidence suggests that the forbidden art of necromancy may hold the key to a cure, but is Nedra willing to defy the laws of man and nature to test that theory? First in a duology, this twisty, macabre fantasy from Revis (A World Without You) employs keen character work, thoughtful worldbuilding, and an intelligent plot to advocate for compassion, community service, and accessible healthcare. The arbitrary closing cliffhanger shocks more than it satisfies, but invested readers will hunger for a sequel. Ages 12 up.