In a fantastical realm dominated by the worship of elemental gods, where cacao beans are exchanged as money and nobles ride okapis, Lady Emmanuella a’Fermena dons a laborer’s chiton and slips out into the night to engage in thievery. It’s the only way she has, apart from marrying a rich man she doesn’t love, to keep afloat the temple she inherited from her mother. This particularly job, however, turns out to be something other than it seems, and results in a hasty, deliciously awkward, passionate embrace with Quintin, a virtuous tax collector. Compulsively honest, duty has always come first for Quintin in his role as a Hand and an auditor, but from the first moment her lips touch his, he’s enthralled by the mysterious, beautiful thief he knows only as ‘Em.’
With lavish, sensuous language, Jarvis draws you into their world and intoxicates all the senses as these two struggle to face down their enemies and conquer their doubts about themselves and each other. Completely engaging from the first chapter to the end. An absolute joy to read.