Only the darkest and most dangerous of Mages are sentenced to pass through the gate to Asperfell. Not one has ever returned. Never did Briony dream she might set foot in the otherworldly prison of Asperfell. She was, after all, neither Mage nor criminal. She was simply her father's little whirlwind--fingers smudged with ink, dresses caked with mud--forever lost in a book or the spirit-haunted woods surrounding her family's country estate. But Briony always had a knack for showing up where she was least expected. Only by braving the gate of Asperfell could Briony hope to find the true heir to the throne of Tiralaen and save her kingdom from civil war. And so, she plunges into a world of caged madmen and demented spirits, of dark magic and cryptic whispers... and of a bleak and broken prince with no interest in being rescued.