A thrilling new fantasy series—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a dangerous quest in a new world—from Sara Raasch, the New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Agrid, a country ruled by religion.
But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate. As one of the stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he scavenges the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.
Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.
As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
In an island nation where multiple factions battle for control of its magical plants, three teens from different backgrounds become unlikely allies in the ongoing struggle against an occupying country and its religious zealotry. When an important diplomat is kidnapped, Adeluna, a former rebel soldier, hatches a plan to find him before war can break out, and she frees the notorious raider Deveraux Bell from prison so he can use his unique talents to aid her in her efforts. Meanwhile, Benat, crown prince of occupying Argrid, attempts to use the island's natural magic to cure diseases, even though his own father will brand him as a heretic for it. This first volume in a duology pairs political intrigue, magic, and high adventure with a religious and social conflict reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition. Between the extensive worldbuilding and sprawling cast, there's a lot going on, and both the characters and story threads lack development. Still, Raasch (Frost like Night) creates an entertaining, complex story that will keep readers engaged up to the cliff-hanger ending. Ages 13 up.