Sonea knows the other novices in the Magicians' Guild all come from powerful families, but she also knows she can turn to Rothen and Dannyl for help when she needs it. That is, until someone starts spreading malicious rumours about her, and Akkarin, the High Lord, steps in. Prompted by the Guild Ambassador, Lord Dannyl leaves for the Elyne court. His first order from Administrator Lorlen is to resume, in secret, High Lord Akkarin's long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge. Not knowing the true reason for his journey, Dannyl is soon facing unexpected dangers. Meanwhile, Sonea has almost forgotten the High Lord's dark secret, but keeping the truth hidden may be a grave mistake.