In a land where the taint of magic is a death sentence, four sorcerers find an unexpected calling...
When Romy's brother risks using magic for petty thieving, she exerts her influence as the Shadow Lordís beloved courtesan to save his life. The price is her dismissal from nine years of settled happiness. Forced back to her roots in Cantagnaís Beggar's Ring, Romy has only her wits and her own secret magic to make a new life for herself and her angry young brother. As they struggle to survive, they find allies in unexpected quarters -- a professional duelist with a dangerous past and a metalsmith with an knack for forgery.
Cast as scapegoat in a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and drive Cantagna into civil war, Romy finds herself in a confluence of bronze antiquities, pious grand ducs, treacherous allies, and greedy art dealers. She, her brother, and their newfound partners must risk exposing their secrets to save Romy's life and preserve Cantagnaís future as a city of justice and enlightenment.
- 2020 Colorado Book Award, Winner