Ready Player One meets Gladiator in this high-octane thriller that mixes black-ops espionage with fight-to-the-death combat in the arena.
In the near future, the line between entertainment and brutality has blurred.
Mysterious billionaire Cameron Crayton is a household name from televised spectacles in which prison inmates fight to the death, but his old shows pale in comparison to his new event, The Crucible, a gladiatorial tournament anyone can enter. The winner is promised unimaginable wealth and glory . . . if they’re able to survive a series of globally broadcast fight-to-the-death matches with medieval weaponry against the world’s most fearsome fighters.
Former black-ops operative Mark Wei wants nothing more than to be left alone to drink after sacrificing everything―including his family―in America’s covert Cold War II against China, a war won largely because of him. But there are rumors that Crayton’s background and business dealings involve shady connections to foreign powers, and soon Mark is convinced to reluctantly dust off his training, strap on a sword and armor, and enter the tournament arena as an undercover agent. It’s the most dangerous assignment he’s ever been given, and Mark quickly finds himself not just fighting for his life in the arena against trained killers, but racing to expose The Crucible’s founder’s secrets while navigating a viral phenomenon in which the stakes are literally life and death. . . .