Makiia Lucier grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam and holds degress in journalism and library studies from the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She is the author of A Death-Struck Year, Isle of Blood and Stone, and Song of the Abyss.
"A refreshing stand-alone novel....Full of complex characters and unexpected twists, this moving book explores what it means to rebuild and how much history depends on who is left to tell it."—The New York Times
★ "Cas’s soft, slow-building romance with Lena, a clever young historian, is wonderfully authentic and adds depth to Cas’s character arc from vengeful prisoner to trusted official. Lucier’s a deft hand with layered relationships tangling her characters together in fascinating ways and propeling the story forward, and Cas’s succinct narrative voice holding high stakes and hope in equal measure. Expertly plotted with complex characters, the book features well-crafted twists and turns as Cas is thrown headfirst into the mysteries of the royal court....Part political mystery, part dark adventure fantasy, this is a book you’ll want to devour in one sitting. Deeply satisfying."—School Library Journal, STARRED review
"Lucier wastes no time in this gripping mystery: Every twist is carefully plotted, and the worldbuilding is intricate yet effortless. Each of Cas’ relationships, even those with the spirits he encounters, is distinct, and, like him, readers will find it difficult to judge who is trustworthy....A well-balanced and captivating stand-alone fantasy." —Kirkus
"Themes of loss, sorrow, and moral conflict, balanced by a delicate and emotionally mature romance, suffuse Lucier’s (the Tower of Winds series) novel set in a time of plague...The gripping narrative glides along via Lucier’s spare, deftly employed prose style, while Cas’s fiercely affectionate relationship with his brother Ventillas lends the plot particular warmth, deepening its moving and thought-provoking depictions of variously traumatized characters."—Publishers Weekly
"A captivating world....Readers who have experienced trauma will likely relate to this exploration of mourning for or reckoning with the person you were, and then finding ways to move forward within new parameters." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A fast-paced, fantastical mystery that's rife with courtly intrigue and twisty secrets and rooted in nuanced depictions of personal and societal trauma....quick to enthrall." —BookPage