An epic fantasy set in a world where familiars—those magical beasts of classic folktales—become the ultimate chess pieces in a battle for the soul of a kingdom.
Jessalyn Suntold leads a life of luxury and ease as the only child of King Owyn of Fyngree. But despite her royal bloodlines and silken garments, Jess feels forsaken. She has spent her life pining for a visitor that has never arrived—an animal familiar capable of unlocking her dormant magical abilities and legitimizing her place as her father’s successor.
Traejon Frost is a warrior who has spent the last five years of his life ceaselessly roaming the mist-shrouded forests and grassy plains of Fyngree. His mission? To guard King Owyn’s wild familiar, a gyrfalcon that is the wellspring of the sorcerer-king’s prodigious spellcasting abilities. It’s a lonely life, but at least out there, sleeping under the moon and stars, the harrowing memories of Traejon’s outlaw past do not haunt his dreams quite so much.
And so it goes, princess and soldier each grappling with their own private demons … until a night of terror in which they learn of a sinister plot to drag King Owyn from his throne. Jess and Traejon unite in a desperate quest to unmask the plotters, only to find that allies can turn into enemies in the blink of an eye, and that monsters come in human as well as fantastical form. Yet still they press onward, searching for the truth in an empire teetering on the brink of collapse. When the outlines of the murderous plot finally become clear, they stumble upon the most stunning revelation of all—that everything they know about the world of magic around them is a lie.