Book One in the Vitalis Chronicles trilogy by Jay Swanson
In the aftermath of the Continental Wars, young Ardin Vitalis’ family is murdered by his own nation’s army in a plot to undo a woman known only as the Witch. Furious, he strikes out for revenge, but instead is thrust into events that will change his world forever. Suddenly he finds himself driven to save the Witch’s beautiful daughter from the nations, Magi, and King of the Shades who seek to destroy her. Should he survive them, his struggle with the dark powers he has been given still threatens to consume him. Ardin must choose to sacrifice his own freedom and flee enemies that are not his own, or allow events to unfold to the detriment of the planet.