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Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people's magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak'gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother, in her last act before she died.
No one can see the mysterious mark--an untranslatable Hin character--except Lan. Until the night a boy appears at the teahouse and saves her life.
Zen is a practitioner--one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumored to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.
When Zen comes across Lan's unusual qi, he recognizes what she is: a practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. He's never seen anything like it--but he knows: if there are answers, they lie deep in the pine forests and misty mountains of the Last Kingdom, with an order of practitioning masters planning to overthrow the Elantian regime.
Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.