Enter Atolas, a world where swords and daggers both extend life and end it, where magic is feared by all but a few, and where feuds and friendships influence kingdoms and courtships. Henry and Isabelle have secretly sworn to marry despite his lowly station. Though Henry is but a carpenter, his devotion drives him to commit an unthinkable act that may cost both of them their lives. At the same time, a secret, dark prophecy has set in motion events that will affect not only them, but the thrones of rulers throughout all of Atolas, threatening to eclipse the world in shadow. But all is not lost while hope remains in the guise of an unlikely hero and the strength of friendship.
Isabelle was barely able to see what was happening as her sight dimmed. She saw the monk’s robe behind the Emperor’s chair, and realized that the flash of light was the reflection of the candles on a sword–a sword pressed against the Emperor’s neck.
“Move an inch, and I’ll slit your throat,” Henry’s voice ordered from beneath the hood.