Ambitious and fiercely independent, Magdalena is fixed on becoming the strongest Wielder of her generation. When her arch-rival stoops to using forbidden death magic in pursuit of the same goal, Magdalena sets out to expose his wrongdoing. But first she must reconnect with an old friend whose prophetic dreams may help her avoid falling victim to the evil she's trying to destroy—if they can be interpreted in time.
Magdalena sat inside the Sect’s tallest tower, awaiting her trial.
She would have preferred to be alone, but Julien insisted on waiting with her in the room outside the trial chamber. Ostensibly for moral support, but also because it gave him extra time to discourage her plan.
“I think you’re being hasty,” Julien said.
Magdalena gave him an arch look, one dark eyebrow raised. Everything about her was a little sharp; her eyes, her chin, her expression. Her tongue.
“I know what you think,” she said. And I don’t care, her tone implied.
They had already been waiting for over an hour, and what little patience Magdalena possessed was beginning to wear. The room was cold, despite light spilling in from the tall windows, and the checkered marble floor only amplified the chill.
She stood in a flurry of black robes and marched to the window, trying to enjoy the view. Windows in the Sect were rare things. From here, the Gray City stretched out before her, ornate and imposing, all dark metal and aged wood and edges that cut. The tallest buildings sent turrets reaching up to meet a plate-metal sky. It was reliably forbidding.
In her rare sentimental moments, Magdalena liked to think that she and the city were alike.