In this thrilling sequel to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's captivating young adult debut, a girl immersed in a high-stakes competition holds the fate of a kingdom in her hands.
Now a Challenger, Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives - the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons alike. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes' only option, as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the chance to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on her traveling party puts Jes at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos - the prince she still loves - is fighting against their country's enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal's life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion.... She must become a warrior.
"Fast-paced, tense, and riveting. I couldn't put it down, and you won't be able to either!" (Tamora Pierce, author of the Tortall series and the Circle of Magic series)
"Jes will remind readers of fearless Katniss with her skill and strategy for games. But it's the fascinating descriptions of traditions, royal interactions, and, of course, the intensities of the Fives that will enthrall readers most of all. Let the games continue!" (Booklist)
"This book is amazing. Kate Elliott combines everything I love best in a YA novel. Jes is a killer protagonist, tough and capable, but also lost in her upbringing and faced with impossible choices that test her character and her beliefs.... This book will not fail you." (Gail Carriger, New York Times best-selling author of the Parasol Protectorate series and the Finishing School series)
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Intricate and absorbing
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