Arielle is descended from the founder of the Areth'kon, the martial school. She dreams of becoming a Mala'kar, a Bladeless Master, like her parents before her. But she lived in the shadow of other's expectations for so long, followed the path they set for her without question, and forgotten her own desires. To reclaim who she is, she leaves her former life and lover behind to start anew at the Gates. But her past claims a stake in her future, and refuses to let her go.
Angus is driven by a secret, a failure he is ashamed of. To rectify his disgrace, he is determined to learn the ways of the sword. Forsaking the teachings of the Magi, he arrived at the Gates to train with his father's people. Raised on the heroic tales of the Blademasters, he strives to live by their example. But the Blademasters here are nothing like the stories.
When their squads arrive at the Gates for their final year of military training, Angus and Arielle are drawn together. The truth of who they are has the power to reshape the history and purpose of their people, but it is guarded by royal decree.
Will they be able to handle the truth of who they are? Can the world? Can they contain the magnificent powers they wield or will they destroy everyone in their way?
All the while, a new enemy stirs in the shadows.
Fans of J.R.R Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss and J.K. Rowling will feel right at home in this elaborately layered fantasy world that combines military society with a unique magical system.