What prize is worth forty years of your life? Success or blood-filled failure hangs on seventeen-year-old Kaltor’s answer. The demon, Melshek, outmatches him at every conflict within the city of Shaylis. He possesses count victims faster than any disease can spread. In a bitter twist of fate, they are forced to help enslave or kill those they cherish most. Kaltor must reach beyond his assassin training to find the power to defeat this foe. But drawing additional strength from an ancient family secret, and even trading away half his life to amplify his powers, might not be enough to stop the demon. Their fates are decided in a desperate duel of hardened steel against demonic claws. Kaltor must stop the demon before he spreads any further. If not, the city, the country, and then the world, succumbs to Melshek’s will.