Murder, mayhem and magic... Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die--but according to the law, so do I. Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death. And now I wait for the hangman's noose. But the same law that condemns me may also save me. Ixia's food taster--chosen to ensure that the Commander's food is not poisoned--has died. And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed--me--must be offered the position.