Mars Darksvane wants out. Out from under the thumb of Una, the crime boss who pulled him off the streets and trained him as an assassin; out from Riven, where magic —in the form of a dangerous material called Ice—allows the rich to live in luxury and keeps the poor in thrall. Mars is a secret adept—born with the ability to channel the magic that flows beneath Riven—and while this gives him talents useful to an assassin, it also makes him a target. And when a mission ends in tragedy, Mars finally decides it’s time to escape.
But Una has other ideas. If Mars wants his freedom, he’s going to have to execute one final job: protecting Fura Torvald—heiress of a powerful family and daughter of the last man Mars was sent to kill—and stealing from her a mysterious object known only as the Primer. Mars has no interest in Fura or Riven’s corrupt and oppressive politics; he just wants to do his job, deliver the object to Una, and get out. But as Mars comes to know more about Fura, the Primer, and the true nature of the power in Riven, he realizes that he will soon have to take a side in a fight he has avoided his entire life. Which side, however, he does not yet know.
The acclaimed author of Onyx & Ivory returns with a sweeping, pulse-pounding new fantasy adventure set in an unforgettable world in which the power you have can set you free, or bind you in chains forever.