World Collapse happened 18 years ago. There weren't many survivors. Mayor Meirnon became ruler of Ethica. He built a wall to keep anyone from escaping and forced the people into poverty.
Paradin is an 18-year-old girl who wants her freedom. She starts asking questions and becomes defiant towards Meirnon. She must fight for her freedom from a government who would kill her so no one found out the truth. This is the year she's eligible for The Acquiring, a ceremony for the drawing of the troops. She would rather run than serve in Meirnon's army.
Marindra is her best friend who tries to keep Paradin out of trouble. Gallan is a bad influence Paradin can't live without.
All she wants is her freedom and to find out the truth to what's outside the walls. Her unbearable loss will only fuel her. What she discovers will shock her. Can she bring down Meirnon and expose him? Will she be able to get the freedom she desperately wants?