Anasoma, jewel of the Mahruse Empire, has fallen. As Caldan and his companions flee the city, horrors from the time of the Shattering begin to close in. With Miranda's mind broken by forbidden sorcery, Caldan is forced to disobey the most sacrosanct laws of the Protectors if he is to have any chance of healing her. But when one of the emperor's warlocks arrives to take control of him, he begins to suspect his burgeoning powers may be more of a curse than a blessing.
"Main character is a coward 90% of the time"
When Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, he is raised by monks and taught the arcane mysteries of sorcery. Vowing to discover for himself who his parents really were, and what led to their violent end, he is thrust into the unfamiliar chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to earn an apprenticeship with a guild of sorcerers. But he soon learns the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that brings the world to the edge of destruction.
In a battle of armies and sorcerers, empires will fall. After young Caldan's parents were slain, a group of monks raised the boy and initiated him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery. But when the Mahruse Empire was attacked and the lives of his friends hung in the balance, he was forced to make a dangerous choice. Now, as two mighty empires face off in a deadly game of supremacy, potent sorcery and creatures from legend have been unleashed. To turn the tide of war and prevent annihilation, Caldan must learn to harness his fearsome and forbidden magic.
In the bustling capital city of the Mahruse Empire, Felicienne Shyrise spends her days as a talented investigator, taking on stolen goods and missing person cases and the occasional murder the city guard are too incompetent - or too lazy - to resolve. During the nights she hones her skills playing Dominion, a board game almost as complicated as life itself. She dreams of making a name for herself and becoming the richest woman in the Empire.
To Inquisitor Angel Xia, it was just another corporate killing on a backwater planet. But as the bodies begin to pile up and she finds herself a target, she realizes she's stepped on one toe too many. Barely escaping attempts on her life by powerful agents with seemingly limitless reach and influence, Angel senses even her co-Inquisitors can't be trusted. But as the web tightens, she receives a cryptic message from a computer program claiming to be a little girl in desperate need of her help.