MAEA GRANZRIECH, the fourth child and only daughter of the king of the world's wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve a spy for her father-- whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war-- Maea wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance. Until one night Maea is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone at first sam is horrified by her power-- but as she tests it's limits she's drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, though, Maea is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure. But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with Maea's power. With a world on the brink of war, and a power of ultimate destruction, can Maea find a way to help the kingdom that's turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?