In one man, two souls fight for survival—and for mastery of an outlaw magic that could save a kingdom.
It was a fate Josan once considered preferable to death. Cast by dark sorcery into the body of Emperor Lucius of Ikaria, the scholar-monk struggled to make peace with a mind that regarded him as a hostile intruder. But now, as simmering rivalries threaten to plunge the kingdom into a bloody civil war, Josan is faced with the most difficult choice of all. For the uneasy truce between him and Lucius is unraveling in a form of madness that is destroying the body they share. There’s only one hope for a cure.
Disguised, stowing away as a common traveler, Josan/Lucius will make the hazardous journey to Xandropol. There in the great library of the Learned Brethren, Josan hopes to find the forbidden magic that will counter the spell that yokes him and Lucius. But an old antagonist is already on their trail: the Lady Ysobel follows them to what she realizes is the scene of her and Josan’s fateful first meeting. But not even she divines the reason for this final pilgrimage: that Josan has returned to sacrifice his life.
Between a mysterious past and a treacherous future lies one lost man—and a magic that has changed the world forever. . . .
After years of exile, shattered dreams, and confusion, Josan has finally discovered he is not the simple monk he appeared to be. Nor is he the victim of a mysterious fever, as he was led to believe. Instead his soul had been magically shifted into the body of the condemned Prince Lucius, leader of a failed rebellion against the rightful monarchs of the kingdom of Ikaria. And though Josan is the dominant personality in that body, the remnants of Lucius’ s mind grow stronger each day.
When the Ikarian royal family is slaughtered in a bloody assassination, Josan/Lucius is not only the prime suspect but the sole remaining legitimate heir to the throne. With Ikaria in chaos, can Josan clear himself from suspicion in time to keep the wolves from the door? And can he ever integrate the two souls that now inhabit a single body?
Sometimes the magic inside us isn’t meant to be discovered. . . .
Orphan, exile, priest, Josan has been posted to a lighthouse on the farthest edge of the kingdom. As a member of the collegium, he once dreamed of making a real contribution to the Learned Brethren, but those dreams died after a mysterious fever shattered him, body and mind. At least that’s the story he’s been told to explain a past he can’t remember. But that past has returned . . . with a vengeance.
When Lady Ysobel Flordelis is shipwrecked on Josan’s island, this sets in motion an explosive destiny. The Seddonian trade liaison is traveling to Ikaria on official business, but her secret purpose is to revive the revolution brutally crushed years before. Neither Ysobel nor Josan can foresee the significance of their brief meeting. But as Ysobel navigates the elaborate court intrigues in Ikaria, Josan will be forced to leave his island exile and embark on a treacherous journey to unlock the secrets that bind his past—an act that could lead him to glory . . . or doom.