New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce returns to the magical world of Winding Circle.
Set two years before the events of The Will of the Empress
and Melting Stones
, this adventure reunites plant mage Briar; his mentor, Rosethorn; and his young apprentice, Evvy, who has a talent for making stones . . . do things.
On their way to the first Circle temple in Gyongxi, the three pay a visit to the emperor's summer palace. Although treated like royalty when they first arrive, the mages soon discover that the emperor plans to invade Gyongxi, posing a fatal threat to the home temple of the Living Circle religion. Accompanied by one of the emperor's prize captives, the three mages rush to Gyongxi to warn its citizens of the impending attack.
With the imperials hot on their trail, Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy must quickly help the country prepare for battle. But even with the help of new allies, will their combined forces be enough to fight the imperial army and win the war?
This wonderful novel serves as a perfect entry point to her Winding Circle series, or as a companion for fans of her previous books!