Secondborn Roselle St. Sismode was pressed into military service to battle the rebel uprising threatening the society that enslaves her. Now, powerful factions conspire to subvert the lines of succession, positioning Roselle to replace her mother as leader of the Republic's armed forces. But the woman who bore her would sooner see Roselle dead than let her usurp her firstborn brother's command.
Roselle St. Sismode is many things: victim of a conspiracy, unwilling host of an ever-evolving mind algorithm, spy for a rebel army, and heir to the Fate of Swords. As a warrior, she’s also the anticipated main event at the Secondborn Trials. When the opening ceremonies erupt in chaos, Roselle is abducted by a sadistic agent with a diabolical plan: transform Roselle into a mind-controlled assassin to topple society. But a rogue scientist has implanted Roselle with a genius technology that is far more powerful. It renders her untouchable. Faster. Stronger. And maybe immortal.
Kricket Hollowell never wished upon stars. She was too busy hiding in plain sight, eluding Chicago's foster care system. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she now eagerly anticipates the day she'll stop running and finally find her place in the world. That day comes when she meets a young Etharian soldier named Trey Allairis, who has been charged with coming to Earth to find Kricket and transport her to her true home.
Kyon Ensin finally has what he's always wanted: possession of Kricket Hollowell, the priestess who foresees the future. Together, their combined power will be unrivaled. Kricket, however, doesn't crave the crown of Ethar - she has an unbreakable desire to live life on her own terms, a life that she desperately wants to share with her love, Trey Allairis.
Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger - and more dangerous - than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity...and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents' clans.
Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic. On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode's eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she's to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.
Soon-to-be college freshman Evie Claremont had hoped that once she'd arrived on Crestwood's campus, the nightmare that she'd been having would go away. It hasn't. She may be an inexperienced 17-year-old, but she's grounded... sane. She looks for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he's near, she feels an attraction to him - a magnetic kind of force pulling her toward him.
Evie doesn't open her eyes so she can't see him, but she can smell him. He thickens the air she breathes, choking her with his scent... his aroma. She shivers. She has to resist. If she's not strong, then she will be relegated to the same fate as this predator whose sickness infects her even now. But now, she craves him and he knows that; he has been counting on her need to end the gnawing pain. How he would savor her surrender. She's alive, but how much longer will it take until she begs him not to be?
I gasp as my body curls toward Brennus like a flower to the sun, for the pleasure of it. He holds me close to him. His nose grazes the length of my neck. He breathes me in. I feel the roar and rush of my heartbeat. I'm his toy; his energy streams into me. He winds the invisible key in my back, and the euphoria ratchets and coils inside of me.
Cold, fine drops of rain fall softly on Evie's cheeks as she emerges from the darkness of the ship's interior to the gray, overcast sky of the main deck. Pulling her dark peacoat tighter to her body, the wind lifts red tendrils of her hair. She walks slowly to the railing overlooking the water. She catches her first sight of the Irish coastline; its craggy landscape makes her shiver in dread. She finds it difficult to imagine now how the Gancanagh had made this their home for so long without anyone realizing it.
Evie hangs her head in sorrow for just a moment when she knows she is truly alone. She feels like she's going to her execution, just as he had said. Then she moves forward again. She hops a fence of fieldstone and crosses a field dotted with Queen Anne's lace. Goose bumps rise on her arms as she passes the cluster of windmills that she's seen in a dream. The scent is sweet in the field though, not the scent of heat, like it had been when it was forced upon her in visions.