In the city of Athros where sand meets the sea, dark arts is a banned practice. By the decree of the royal ministry, dark magic is any used for ill intent. Those disobeying the decree can be punished as far as execution.
Hysode is a thief, who uses her magic to aid her crime. When she is finally caught, her sentence is to slave at the citadel where warriors fight to the death. And master over them is Lord Oris. At the citadel, Hysode meets the champion fighter, Calder, renowned for his inability to feel pain.
Dangerous lies, a crumbling monarchy and secretive companions weave themselves into the web Hysode must entangle herself from.