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, hor 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.