Pope Benignus is dying,
and the man who takes his throne will hold the reins of an empire.
Conspiracies swirl like shadows around Livia, the pope's daughter, who
refuses to be anyone's pawn: chasing the whispers of a deadly coup, she
vows to expose the truth and save her church from disaster. Livia has
secrets of her own, though, and one wrong move could cost her life and
Felix is the scion of a dying merchant house, a man with just one chance to save his family and the woman he loves. His last hope lies in the snowbound hell of Winter's Reach, a former prison colony turned "free city" under a brutal tyrant's reign.
Livia and Felix have never crossed paths, but they've both been snared in a far greater web than they can imagine. They - along with a pair of veteran bounty hunters, an exiled politician, and a sadistic coven of witches - are cogs in one man's apocalyptic plan for revenge. A plan which, if it succeeds, will leave an entire nation in flames.
Craig Schaefer's books have taken readers to the seamy edge of a criminal underworld drenched in shadow (the Daniel Faust series), to a world torn by war, poison and witchcraft (the Revanche Cycle), and - beginning this winter - across a modern America mired in occult mysteries and a conspiracy of lies (the Harmony Black series).
Despite this, people say he's strangely normal. Suspiciously normal, in fact.
Schaefer lives in Illinois with a small retinue of cats, all of whom try to interrupt his writing schedule and/or kill him on a regular basis. He practices sleight of hand in his spare time, though he's not very good at it.