Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun.
But in the kingdom of Terra Volat, where the Darkness reigns as much as the witch-queen who created it, that is perfectly normal. What is less normal is Siria’s overwhelming hatred of the dark, as she has never known anything different. When she is made to attend a ball that might result in her election to the Queen’s court, Siria feels she would do anything to avoid being chosen.
Though ‘anything,’ she decides later, might have been a hasty word to use.
For it is during this ball, as she stands before her queen, that a strange fever sweeps over Siria, and leaves her irrevocably changed. One moment she is a plain schoolgirl, parchment pale as anyone else; the next, scorched by a sudden internal fire, she finds her skin ruddy and freckled, her hair bright as tongues of flame, her eyes burning like lit jewels. It is the proof the Queen had hoped for, and that Siria herself was ignorant to expect: That she is the last of a long-hunted race called sunchildren, whose extinction will cement the Queen’s Darkness forever.
But Siria’s best friend Linden, who knows more than he has always pretended, is ready to help her escape, and as they flee and join a ragtag group of renegades bent on helping Siria survive, she begins to comprehend what has happened—and what it might mean. For if she can journey to the far north by the day of the Vernal Equinox, where it is rumored thesun is still visible, she will gain an understanding of her powers that might enable her to challenge the Queen and her Darkness and bring back the Light.
She doesn't count on falling in love. She doesn't count on separation from her friends, or their betrayal, or their sacrifice. But she knows that if anything causes her to fail, she will doom the kingdom to shadow forever.