When a royal decree demands the death of all young children, along with any born over the next two years, Adriella’s life comes unraveled. Suddenly, her soldier husband is eyeing her increasing waistline with suspicion instead of anticipation, and she decides to flee before he can turn her in.
With the High King and his men searching for anyone who defies his edict, she knows there isn’t much of a chance she’ll survive. But in a country full of newly grieving parents, on streets red with the blood of innocents, Adriella will do whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the law. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose the one thing even more precious to her than her own life—her child.
She's turned over to a depraver who tarnishes her. Now bald, branded, and barren, she's worth less than the shadow she casts. From this lowly place she leads the tarnished to overthrow the Grand Chancellor--the man behind Chardonia's oppressive rules against women and the tarnished. If they fail to defeat him and his supporters, all will be lost.