An empty throne, fallen crown, and broken scepter are all that remains of the great Empire of Light. From Nudhug to Armahad, the marked bones of the Caladrius kings have been stripped of their promise and crumbled into dust. But one remains. The despotic heir, Liacin Caladrius, has given himself wholly to Sgarrwrath and the rising void for promises of power beyond that of any man before. Yet prophecy points to another heir; when the Markless Son bears the Golden Brand, all know the Promised King has come. Liacin and Sgarrwrath seek to claim the Promised—an infant conceived when Living Flame fell from the sky. Now Sgarrwrath’s ancient plot forces him to face his highest desire and his greatest fear veiled within that mysterious child. The question is, has he risen far enough for all his emptiness to take all that promised life for his own? Or will another rise?