Martha and her brother, Asher, were born in an Outland village known only as Whispering Peak. They grew up wild and free, passionate children baked brown by the sun. Though they had heard stories of Invictus, the strange, walled city where only the bravest Outlander will travel, they had never seen it for themselves. It loomed in their minds like a fairy tale, too distant to truly be dangerous.
But when the Invictus Council struck out at the Outlanders, everything changed. Their home destroyed, Martha and Asher were left to wander the Outlands with a man they called the General, the only lifeline they had left. He is the one who gave Martha her first rifle. He is the one who taught her to shoot.
But then their General is taken hostage, carried into the depths of Invictus City after crossing the walls with a raiding party. The orders were clear – that he be left behind – but with the Invictus fairy tales turning to nightmares in her mind, Martha knows she can’t abandon him.
She knows that she and her young brother will never be safe without him.
Martha and Asher have no choice but to make their way through the winding forest that surrounds the city, to the monumental steel gates that keep it closed, and find a way to bring him home.
Inside those walls, they will learn one thing: the truth of Invictus City is far darker than any story they were ever told. It is on those bleached, sterile streets that Martha will find even the best laid plans can unwind along the way.