Magic is currency in Sabine Fable’s world. After an epidemic of mage fever stole it from her family, Sabine came into the world a baseborn without position or hope. She struggles through life with a frail mother and a drunken, abusive grandfather.
Sabine’s stubbornness and her skills in herbalism carve out a tenuous niche for her family in a society where mageborns rule. She cares for her mother, Brona Fable, who still suffers from the aftereffects of the disease as an outcast in a small town. For Sabine’s devotion and ignoble birth, she has been teased, abused, and ridiculed for most of her young life.
Veda, a sorceress who once trained her mother, arrives in town to further her controversial work toward a possible cure for mage fever and its side effects. Brona Fable secures her daughter an honorable position assisting Veda’s mission. Sabine reluctantly leaves her mother to forge her own path. She learns the road to possibly restore her magic and help others like her is thorny with mysterious and diabolical forces that threaten the cure, her family, and herself.