The Mantle that separates the kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall. And life will drastically change for both kingdoms.
Born with a deadly magic she cannot control, Kyara is forced to become an assassin. Known as the Poison Flame in the kingdom of Lagrimar, she is notorious and lethal, but secretly seeks freedom from both her untamed power and the blood spell that commands her. She is tasked with capturing the legendary rebel called the Shadowfox, but everything changes when she learns her target’s true identity.
Darvyn ol-Tahlyro may be the most powerful Earthsinger in generations, but guilt over those he couldn’t save tortures him daily. He isn’t sure he can trust the mysterious young woman who claims to need his help, but when he discovers Kyara can unlock the secrets of his past, he can’t stay away.
Kyara and Darvyn grapple with betrayal, old promises, and older prophecies—all while trying to stop a war. And when a new threat emerges, they must beat the odds to save both kingdoms.
Penelope ambitiously expands on the story of warring kingdoms Elsira and Lagrimar in this magnetic, spellbinding second Earthsinger Chronicles fantasy (after Song of Blood & Stone). Kyara ul-Lagrimar is a cursed royal assassin known as the Poison Flame who possesses Nethersong, the power to bring about death. Lagrimar's king tasks her with identifying and capturing the Shadowfox, the powerful leader of a rebel band of life-giving Earthsingers. Kyara goes undercover, and during an operation to free kidnapped children, she meets a handsome fellow by the name of Darvyn ul-Tahlyro. Their connection is instant, powerful, and terribly inconvenient, because Darvyn is the Shadowfox and Kyara is magically bound to turn him over to her king or die. Penelope crafts highly developed characters who are distinct and sympathetic, giving them exciting and varied relationship dynamics including deep, intimate friendships and found family that are given equal weight to the central romance. Clean prose encapsulates a sound, well-constructed plot. Despite an enticing cliff-hanger, this taut, suspenseful fantasy stands alone, and readers new to the series can comfortably start here. This is a wonderful integration of high-stakes epic fantasy intrigue with intimate personal connections.