With her master dead and her oaths foresworn, necromancer and spy Isyllt Iskaldur finds herself in exile. Hounded by assassins, she seeks asylum in Assar, the empire she so recently worked to undermine.
Warlords threaten the Empire's fragile peace, and the fiery jinn arm themselves for battle. Worse, incursions into the buried city of Irim have woken ancient powers long held dormant – powers that can destroy mortals and spirits alike.
Isyllt and an outcast jinn must travel through warring armies into the heart of the desert and lay the darkness in Irim to rest once more. But first they must stop an order of mages that will do anything to keep the Empire safe – even raze it to dust.
Amanda Downum was born in Virginia, and has since spent time in Indonesia, Micronesia, Missouri, and Arizona. In 1990 she was sucked into the gravity well of Texas, and has not yet escaped. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in English Literature, and has spent the last ten years working in a succession of libraries and bookstores; she is very fond of alphabetizing. She currently lives near Austin in a house with a spooky attic, which she shares with her long-suffering husband and fluctuating numbers of animals and half-finished novels. She spends her spare time making jewelry and falling off perfectly good rocks.