Discover what Kirkus calls “an electric work of epic fantasy,” where allies are scarce and almost everyone will kill for power.

One day, my dear daughter, you will destroy the world.

After being forced from her home five years ago, Alana Zaya has finally been given the opportunity to return and claim her rightful place on the Okaron throne. When her voyage is waylaid by pirates, she soon finds herself stranded at sea, surrounded by strangers harboring dark secrets. But hers are perhaps the darkest of all.

Across the world, Rae Toma is a warrior who can't walk away from a fight. After years of using her skills to rebel against the regime that trained her, her treachery is revealed, forcing her to flee into the Shatter—a maze of islands that no one has ever returned from.

There, she finds Nur Del Sue, a Stormwitch on a mission to prove herself in a world determined to ignore her.

Forced from their homes, can these characters survive long enough to uncover the deadly mysteries at the heart of their world?

About the author(s)

Maelan Holladay was born and raised in the bay area. She likes crocodiles and fantasy books with complex worlds.


She is currently pursuing a bachelor's in animal biology.


Three ambitious women struggle for control in a world descending into chaos in Holladay’s debut fantasy novel.

For the past five years, Alana Zaya has served unhappily as the queen of the jungle nation of Jaarin, where her sharp personality has won her the nickname “the Queen of Darkness.” She’s just received word that her mother, the queen of her homeland, Okaro, has just died. Alana is doubly pleased: she didn’t have much love for her mother, Emira (who recently tried to have Alana assassinated), and now she can return to her wind-swept island homeland and take its throne for herself. That is, if she can survive the trip across the wide Western sea. Elsewhere on the continent, Rae Toma is helping to lead a rebellion against Argos Vedros, the king of Siora, while serving as one of his royal guards. When an agent of the king manages to uncover her identity, Rae is forced to flee the country with an old friend, straight into a deadly collection of islands known as the Shatter. Witch-in-training Nur Del Sue grew up in the Shatter. Her father was a foreigner who washed up on an island—and vanished just as suddenly, with no explanation. Marked as an outsider by her people, Nur is desperate to prove herself. Fate has put these three women on a collision course, but will they help each other achieve their ambitions? Will bad things happen if they do? Holladay’s kinetic prose brings her characters to dramatic life, as here when Alana relishes a storm at sea: “Lightning splintered across the sky, and the rain fell harder, churning the ocean beneath them. Waves licked up the side of the ship like flames, spilling over the deck. She laughed. The sound came out of her with an explosion of joy. Yes. This was where she belonged.” Many of the elements of the setting and story will be familiar to fantasy fans; even so, Holladay’s worldbuilding is rich and subtle, and her protagonists are memorably bold. Readers will look forward to a sequel.

An electric work of epic fantasy.