In the middle of an ashen wasteland lies the last known haven for mankind, a small, primitive town in a small oasis, where the dwindling population struggles daily to survive. Part of that survival hinges on an ancient ritual where a special few must make the perilous journey to the sacred Tower of Light.
Addy Swift, a 16-year-old born with a power she can't control, is safe from that ritual for another year; that is, until the rules change. But when the test of the Proven goes wrong, she learns that she could be the one person in a thousand years who can put an end to the Faege, a festering plague responsible for ruining the land and sickening the people.
Ill-trained but determined to save her people, Addy strikes out with a band of people who can't seem to get along. To succeed, she must bring them together, learn to control her power, and survive the Waste, all while being pursued by a ruthless barbarian who would see her in chains.