Buried under the weight of an empire in peril, will she sink, or will she rise?

For weeks, Haelo Marley has done everything she could to prepare herself to be the queen her people need. She’s trained, worked, pushed herself beyond all expectations, and most of all, distracted herself from thinking about the man she’s marrying—and the one she’s not.

In the last days before her wedding, Haelo’s confidence is shaken in more ways than one, until she finds the clarity she needs from sources she never would have expected.

But just when Haelo is starting to hope for a bright future, Massáude’s dark shadow returns to smother the Candeon Empire. And this time, he’s threatening to bring the monarchy to its knees.

Sacrifice after sacrifice, Haelo fights to save her people. As the losses mount, Haelo must decide how far she’s willing to go to win this war. Her pain could bury her—or it could allow her to rise higher than ever before.

Either way, time is running out.