From the award-winning author of the Dominion of the Fallen series comes a dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast. In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land . . . A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village's debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world. A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference. When failed scholar Yen is sold to Vu Con, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Con's amusement. But Vu Con, it turns out, has a use for Yen: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yen back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Con seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yen comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yen will have to decide where her own happiness lies—and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Con's dark, unspeakable secrets . . . Contains mature themes.