"Children, there is death in the world."
These words catapulted Dyan of Buza System into a nightmare of initiation, betrayal, flight, and murder. Against all odds, Dyan survived the Cull and so did Jak, the young man she was supposed to kill.
Now Jak and Dyan go back into Buza System. Dyan's mother is held prisoner there and scheduled to be executed for letting her daughter live. Rescuing her will push Dyan and Jak to the limits, unveiling to them the dark secrets at the heart of Buza System, and teaching them the truth of Magister Zarah's words:
"Every Urbane knows the secret of life—that it is cheap, and easily taken."