Dara Ruminor is a serious young duelist in the mountaintop kingdom of Vertigon, a land of dramatic cliffs and misty peaks where mysterious Fire magic runs through the stones like blood. The secluded kingdom has been peaceful for 100 years. Swords are used for sport, and successful athletes live like kings as long as the crowds love them. Eighteen-year-old Dara needs to find a wealthy patron in order to duel professionally and avoid a lifetime working in her parents' Fire Lantern shop.
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Dara Ruminor takes her new position as a castle guard for the King of Vertigon very seriously. She refuses to allow her feelings for Siv to get in the way of atoning for her parents' actions, no matter how hard it is to keep her distance. But she's keeping secrets from her king - and the one involving a fiery newfound ability is getting harder to hide.
Dara and Siv flee through the treacherous snows of Vertigon, injured and defeated, with enemies in pursuit. They don't know when they'll return to the mountain they love. If they make it to safety, they'll have to figure how to challenge the Lantern Maker and retake Siv's throne. But when one of them disappears, the other must travel into the wild on a desperate rescue mission. Dangers abound in the Lands Below, and this journey is only the beginning. As rumors of war spread across the land, Dara and Siv will have to fight to be together again.