In a world where the magical ability of a blood-sigil allows Men to manipulate the power of gods, the lines between heroes and villains are blurred. Sixteen year-old Drake is chosen by the College of Mystics to become the next Shade, a peacekeeper, responsible for maintaining the balance between all factions of magic. As he begins to train with the Scholars he discovers that their motives are less than pure. With the mantle of leadership resting on his shoulders, Drake soon finds himself swimming in turbulent waters. Hostility is growing between two factions, spurred by those who believe themselves purebloods, and Drake must choose where his loyalties lie. Meanwhile, after their success in eliminating his predecessor, the Dragon cult is determined to have their war. Once again, the dreaded assassin, Shadowstealer, stalks the night again. Bonded to the malevolent Darkness, the assassin has never been so powerful, and this time, Drake might prove less of a challenge to her than his predecessor.