Alcina lives in a land of subtle magic. She is a scribe and has prepared to take her mother's place as High Scribe when her mother retires. When her mother is killed unexpectedly, Alcina must take her place. But her mother was not just a scribe; she was also working with a secret alliance to counter the plans of the Principal Councillor and had information that someone might just kill for. While battling her own demons of depression, Alcina must decide who she can trust and what to do with the information bequeathed to her.