Or so the world believed . . .
Marin had never expected to be in the middle of the biggest magical crisis for two centuries. A peasant by birth, she was uncomfortable enough with her noble status as a Guardian, charged with policing the use of magic—even though her district, the White River, was a mere backwater. However, a renegade sorceror in that same backwater district somehow obtained a supply of a notorious magical poison—the venom of a race of serpent-people who’d been believed extinct—and it’s up to Marin to stop him. It obviously won’t be easy: the last people to use that poison ended up ruling the world.
Afraid for her life and aware that the governor of her own district has already been bewitched, Marin turns to the duke of the neighbouring province. When the duke’s expedition arrives in the White River, however, the situation becomes ever more complex. The sorceror’s poison-enhanced power is greater than they’d feared; the natives of the region are threatening war; and the king’s son, a bitter rival of the duke, is planning his own descent on the region. The serpent-people turn out to be nothing like what Marin expected, and the struggle over what to do about them has implications she’d never imagined. As if this weren’t enough, Marin realizes that she’s fallen in love with a duke. A simple farmgirl is out of her depth—but then, so is everybody.
A fantasy written by an established author when she should have been doing something else.
Cover image by Jen Berry