In a world where magic, technology, and nature have merged, the few who can control Runes hold dominance over all of creation. All believe that Aleksi, a 16-year-old orphan, was blessed to be born with a Rune embedded in his palm, but that's only because they don't know the truth - Aleksi's Rune is so powerful it's killing him.
Asura, a brutal emperor who uses Runes to conquer entire continents, will stop at nothing to kill Aleksi and claim the boy's power for his own. With Aleksi's Rune burning its way through his body and assassins hunting his every step, his survival depends on discerning ally from enemy and learning to tame the competing forces of light and dark within.
With the burden of his rune haunting his days and the prophetic whispers of a young captive priestess illuminating his nights, Aleksi will be able to unravel the mysteries of his past, rescue the girl in his dreams, and challenge the most powerful warlord the world has ever known only if the one thing keeping him alive - his Rune - does not kill him first.
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a dire reading of a unremarkable book