Now available in paperback, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's first young adult novel was praised by Kirkus for its "gripping, original plot; vivid, complicated characters; and layered, convincingly detailed world building."
Jessamy's life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom's best contenders.
Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbably friendship between two Fives competitors--one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy--causes heads to turn. When Kal's powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes's family apart, she'll have to test her new friend's loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death. This imaginative escape into enthralling new lands weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.