Betrayed. Broken. Poisoned. No longer alone, Sam and Alec struggle to find time to continue their studies together. Sam knows that she is more than the lowborn she'd long believed, now living and training in the palace, but still doesn't feel as if she quite fits in. Worse, it seems as if Alec has moved on without her, preferring his new life in the university. Alec has quickly risen in rank, but that only draws attention to him. Learning from master physickers has its benefits, but there are dangers and he's not certain whether he can trust the new friends he's made. Evidence continues to mount of a conspiracy within the university, and it's one he'll need Sam's help in understanding. While Alec tries to reach out to Sam, she searches for Marin and answers that might unlock her full potential. What she finds instead is a threat to the safety in the city, protections that have long prevented the Thelns from reaching Verdholm, if they haven't already breached them. Together, they are the key to stopping Marin, but can they master their new places in the city in time?
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