The much-anticipated stand-alone prequel to the bestselling Queen of the Tearling trilogy . . . A decadent kingdom . . . a descent into darkness . . . alliances forged under fire . . . a prophecy that will change the course of history . . . ‘A suspenseful, multi-layered tale’ Cassandra Clare ‘A must-read for fans of the Tearling!’ Helene Wecker ‘Dark and timely’ Kim Harrison The Tearling has reverted to feudalism, a far cry from the utopia it was founded to be. As the gap between rich and poor widens and famine threatens the land, sparking unrest, rumours of a prophecy begin to spread: a great hope, a True Queen who will rise up and save the kingdom. But rumours will not help Lazarus, a man raised to kill in the brutal clandestine underworld of the Creche, nor Aislinn, a farm girl who must reckon with her own role in the growing rebellion. And in the Keep, the crown princess, Elyssa, finds herself torn between duty to the throne and the lure of a group of fierce idealists who promise radical change. But Elyssa must choose quickly, before a nefarious witch and her shadowy master use dark magic to decide for her. It is only a matter of time before all three will be called into the service of something bigger than they have ever imagined: the fight for a better world.