Klarke Ascher has a singular goal: to become an Ascenditure, a member of the kingdom's elite climbing team who scale the treacherous peaks of Miter's Backbone in search of an elusive medicine to treat the lung sickness that ails the populace. However, in a kingdom governed by centuries of tradition, where women are legally bound to home and hearth, owned by the men they are forced to marry, the Ascenditures have always been male.
As the strongest climber of her generation, Klarke’s skill and strength are undeniable, and her courage and persistence prompt a civil uprising to which the king is finally forced to concede. Klarke’s fight for justice, however, quickly becomes a struggle for survival as fellow Ascenditures, one by one, are inexplicably murdered. For danger lies not only on the icy peaks of treacherous mountains, where ropes are cut and routes are compromised, but in the very halls of power.
With the hope of an oppressed generation on her shoulders, Klarke must dig deep within herself to discover the greatest strengths— of muscle and mind— not only to survive but to unravel the sinister conspiracy upon which the foundation of their kingdom rests.
- Mature Young Adult