“I love the magic Lucier weaves through this dark yet hopeful tale. I devoured it in one sitting!” —Kristin Cashore, author of the New York Times bestselling Graceling Realm books
"A beautifully crafted novel containing everything I love in an epic fantasy: complex characters and relationships, excellent world building, and a compelling story full of twists and turns." —Juliet Marillier, author of the Blackthorn & Grim and Warrior Bards series
A rich and captivating YA standalone fantasy that's perfect for fans of Brigid Kemmerer, Rachel Hartman, and Naomi Novik, from the writer whose stories have been called “brilliant” (Booklist), “masterful” (Horn Book), and “breathtaking” (School Library Journal). In the aftermath of a devastating plague, a young lord is determined to discover the truth behind a mysterious attempt to assassinate the young queen.
A Sickness to kill them. A Princess to save them. And a Reaper who will stop at nothing to reveal the truth.
Young Lord Cassia was destined for death, kidnapped and imprisoned by the enemy three years ago. Now he has escaped, the sole survivor of a deadly outbreak that has ravaged the kingdoms of Oliveras and Brisa alike. His survival has won him his freedom, at a cost: Cas is now haunted by the souls of those with unfinished business left in the realm.
When Cas finally returns to his home in the mountains, he arrives just in time to celebrate the king and queen's newborn son. But when an assassin interrupts the festivities, Cas finds himself thrust into the dark underpinnings of court life. Nothing is as he remembers, and his only solace is Lena, a royal historian with a penchant for stealing his horse and keeping him anchored to the present...even as the past rises to the surface.
For the more Cas learns about the new queen-a former princess of Brisa, an old enemy-the more he is certain she harbors secrets. Secrets that threaten the one person Cas holds most dear.
Lucky for him, the past never forgets, and the secrets of the dead aren't always buried with them.