Icari and Sephie are twin sisters in a world full of magic and demons. When they reach their teens, young people are tested to see if they have the gift, to become a healer, alchemist or embalmer; but having more than one gift is forbidden and leads to dire consequences. After their mother is burnt at the stake, for having two gifts, the girls find themselves being designated as being gifted in areas that do not ring true to them. After they arrive at the citadel of Appollis, the area is attacked by demons from the underworld and Icari is kidnapped and taken back with them. Of course, Sephie is determined to save her sister and discover why she was stolen. This leads to a tale of intrigue and hidden secrets many want to keep hidden. Can the sisters find each other and will they vanquish the forces of darkness?
This is a fascinating story, with echoes of Greek mythology and the tale of Hades (God of the underworld) and his kidnapping of his wife Persephone. It is also about how societies and particularly those with a religious basis can be in danger of placing very rigid controls on the way people live, even if it is to the detriment of society. However, at the centre of this complex story we have the theme of love; both that between family members and also a more romantic form, between new friends and acquaintances. We are shown that love is not something we can always make a decision about, it creeps up on us and the person loved is not always who we expect. The author has created two wonderful central characters, both with flaws, but who are determined to do what is right, save their homeland and defeat the Divine Shadow, ruler of the underworld. The language and plot make this suitable for older teens.