|| 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 a hundred 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. Her efforts are disrupted when her coach asks her to train with Prince Siv, an infuriating-if handsome-young man who refuses to take the sport as seriously as she does. But the prince's life may be in danger, and soon Dara will discover that Vertigon isn't as peaceful as she thought. As threats emerge from the shadows, Dara will have to raise her sword to protect Siv-if he doesn't irritate her so much that she decides to run him through herself.