The land of Carthya is on the brink of civil war. Dissenting factions are forming and the throne will soon be challenged. But for Sage, a young pick-pocket who has been bouncing from orphanage to orphanage, always on the run from trouble, the king's problems are not his problems.
That is, until one day when a strange nobleman named Conner takes Sage away from his life on the streets. Sage finds himself unwillingly entered into a challenge with 3 other orphans. To ensure order over the land of Carthya, one of them must pretend to be the Prince son of King Eckbert.
The orphans are pitted against each other to learn how to be royalty, and are led by Conner into a tangled path of incredible lies and shocking truths. To the winner, goes an unimaginable prize – the promise of being heir to the throne of Carthya. But for the losers, something considerably worse — death. Only one can walk away victorious.
Sage must choose: reluctantly play Conner's game and try to become a prince, or find a way to escape death.
–Emily, Scholastic Booktalker