The Known World is teetering on the edge of chaos. In the wealthy south, the old king is dying. His trusted Shield is killed suddenly, thrusting sixteen-year-old Langor into sudden power and the kingdom into uncertainty. Langor's first task is to solve the mystery surrounding his father's death: accident or murder?
In the poverty stricken north, decades of civil war have weakened a once proud empire, her people poor, desperate and angry. Fifteen year old orphan Starlia has been grimly surviving on her own until she overhears a secret that could save her people. But she needs to win the trust of the Emperor and convince him that she alone can bring prosperity to the empire once again.
In he east, the son of a fierce pirate warrior and constant disappointment to his father, Dartillion has been exiled to a far-flung island to study ancient texts. Knowing he will never live up to his father's expectations, Dartillion searches for an escape, even if it means cutting all ties to his family.
None of them could know that an ancient evil has been birthed, nor that upon their young shoulders the fate of the Known World rests….