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Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He's in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it's easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel - where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark - into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed. But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution - and he'll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway. Yet the young mage is not the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other - or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.
About the Author
Courtney Schafer was born in Georgia, raised in Virginia, and spent her childhood dreaming of adventures in the jagged mountains and sweeping deserts of her favorite fantasy novels. She escaped the East Coast by attending Caltech for college, where she obtained a B.S. in electrical engineering, and also learned how to rock climb, backpack, ski, scuba dive, and stack her massive book collection so it wouldn’t crush anyone in an earthquake. After college she moved to the climber’s paradise of Boulder, Colorado, and somehow managed to get a masters degree in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado in between racking up ski days and peak climbs. She now works in the aerospace industry and is married to an Australian scientist who shares her love for speculative fiction and mountain climbing. She’s had to slow down a little on the adrenaline sports since the birth of her son, but only until he’s old enough to join in. She writes every spare moment she’s not working or adventuring with her family.