Winter has fallen upon Valdon.
It's been five months since Daria Regius arrived at the castle, and her grandfather, the king, has stripped her of all freedoms, building even more barriers around her lonely life.
But darkness moves. Rumors abound about a dark rider, sending ancient and unspeakable horrors to the territories, and the citizens of Gaia are filled with fear. And fear blurs the lines of loyalty and trust, honor and allegiance, and cultivates dissonance throughout the kingdom. The people are anxious for this year's games, because this year, according to prophecy, selecting a champion means a true king can be chosen, and only once that true king is chosen can the people have any hopes of defeating the evil amassing around them.
Propelled by fear for those she loves, unexpected friendships, and harrowing betrayal, Daria must gain the courage to escape the barriers set around her life and confront the evil that threatens to destroy Gaia—before it finds her and takes her life first.
For centuries, the people of Gaia have kept their magical world a secret to protect Earth from themselves. But magic can't save them from the evil they face within. The key to their salvation lies with eighteen-year old Daria Jones, a young girl from Earth with no magical ability at all.
Or so she thought.
Her father's mysterious disappearance from their Fresno, California home sets a whirlwind of events in motion, and Daria soon learns where to find him. The only problem is that she's learned this information from Alex—the guy she grew up with. The guy that was her very best friend until three years ago when he left without a trace. But now he's back (and devastatingly handsome. Unfortunately.) And he's claiming that her father has been taken to a magical world—a magical world Alex has been all this time. The same magical world she must go to in order to save her father.
Now Daria has to decide whether to stay away from the guy that betrayed her, or to trust him with helping her find her father. But if this evil finds her first, she won't even get the choice.