Tiralaen is a kingdom of manners and of magic, and the consequence of the use of such magic for ill exacts a heavy price: banishment through the Gate to the fortress of Asperfell. Built five hundred years ago to contain even the most powerful of Mages, it is a strange and terrifying place from which no one has ever returned. When Briony Tenebrae is a child, the king of Tiralaen is assassinated by his own son, Prince Elyan, a Mage of rare talent. The prince is banished through the Gate, plunging the kingdom into chaos as his younger brother Keric, now king of Tiralaen, wages a war against all magic. 

As Tiralaen grows darker and more dangerous, Briony’s father and uncle risk their lives in secret to prove Elyan’s innocence and bring an end to Keric’s rule while clever, headstrong Briony comes of age running  wild among the eldritch forest of the north, unaware of the magic that flows through her own veins. When her father is exposed and her magic discovered, Briony escapes through the Gate to Asperfell with an impossible task: Find Prince Elyan and return him to Tiralaen. 

Fascinating, deadly, and teeming with powerful Mages of questionable sanity, Briony discovers nothing at Asperfell is quite how she imagined it would be, least of all the prince, whose years of incarceration have sharpened him into a bitter, cynical man. To liberate him and save the kingdom she loves, Briony must navigate her strange, dangerous new world and learn to wield a power she never knew she possessed, even as she is swept up in a mystery as old as the prison itself that could lead to freedom…if she can stay alive.