Sonea, former street urchin, now a Black Magician of Kyralia, is horrified when her son, Lorkin, volunteers to assist Dannyl in his new role as Guild Ambassador to Sachaka, a land still ruled by cruel black magicians. When word comes that Lorkin has gone missing Sonea is desperate to find him, but if she leaves the city she will be exiled forever, and her old friend Cery needs her help. Most of his family has been murdered. The Thieves have been waging a deadly underworld war for years, and now it appears they have been doing so with magical assistance…
Living among the Sachakan rebels, Lorkin does his best to learn about them and their unique magic. But the Traitors are reluctant to trade their knowledge for the Healing they so desperately want, and while he assumes they fear revealing their existence to the world, there are hints they have bigger plans.
Sonea searches for the rogue, knowing that Cery cannot avoid assassination forever, but the rouge’s influence over the city’s underworld is far greater than she feared. His only weakness is the loss of his mother, now locked away in the Lookout.
In Sachaka, Dannyl has lost the respect of the Sachakan elite for letting Lorkin join the Traitors. The Ashaki’s attention has shifted, instead, to the new Elyne Ambassador, a man Dannyl knows all too well.
And in the University, two female novices are about to remind the Guild that sometimes their greatest enemy is found within.
This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders... and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.
What the Magicians’ Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.