The best assassins learn their magic at the Academy of the Subtle Arts. Everyone joins for their own reasons: to give death her proper due, to acquire outrageous fortunes, or to know that history bends to their blade.
Zayn Carter joined the Academy to save his family.
In the sleepy town of Varna, an ancient evil lurks, preying on the townsfolk and keeping them enslaved by her poison. This arrangement has lasted for centuries because to kill the Lady is to guarantee the death of every man, woman, and child in the town. Faced with this impossible conundrum, Zayn vows to take down the Lady, and all that support her. He'll save his family from this horrible fate—or die trying.
When a rogue assassin starts taking heads in the Hundred Halls, no one is safe, not even the teachers.
Zayn leads his team as they investigate the gruesome deaths. The search draws them to dangerous places: the infamous Black Council and the opulent casino of pain run by the Diamond Court. As leads dry up, and heads roll, leaving them no closer to the truth, Zayn must make a terrible choice involving the people who he cares about most
Even a master assassin can be foiled.
Divination—the magic of seeing the future—provides peace in the realms, because no one can launch a war or assassination without being discovered. But when a strange building appears in the city of sorcery, everyone believes it's benign—everyone except Zayn and his teammates. To save the Hundred Halls, they must use all their talents to deceive and uncover its purpose before it's too late.
The dragons are coming.
Without a head patron to protect the city, the Hundred Halls are vulnerable to the most dangerous supernatural creatures of all—the dragons. But the Circle of the Scale is not the only problem. Deep beneath the city other dangers lurk, setting in motion a confrontation that will force Zayn to make a decision between the Halls and his family.
Even the best plans fail.
Zayn has spent his whole life preparing for the final confrontation with the Lady of Varna, but as the day grows closer, complications multiply. When he realizes he can no longer trust his cousin, or his patron—nor does he want to get his teammates killed—it means he must finish his quest alone. But the Lady of Varna has been alive for millennia because she has a supernatural knack for avoiding even the most cunning plans. If Zayn is going to solve this impossible conundrum, he's going to have to get help from an unlikely source and accept the price of his failures.
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