The stunning first book in an exciting new fantasy trilogy! Murder, thievery, witchcraft and betrayal--who could resist?
Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people's senses. It's a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it's a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned--crime pays.
Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders and poison. An aristocratic houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman who is clearly in hiding--though from what or whom? Worse, Julia suspects that there's a connection between these people and the killer leaving a trail of bodies across the frozen city.
The more she learns, the more she wants to be done with this unnatural job. To go back to the safety of her friends and fellow thieves. But Julia is entangled in a struggle between forces more powerful than she'd ever imagined. Escape will come at a terrible price.
One that will she will be paying over this book and the two to follow.
Egan's debut novel sparkles with storytelling that skillfully blends elements of steampunk, fantasy, adventure, and magic. First in the Witch's Child trilogy, it introduces readers to Julia, a young woman who is part spy, part thief, and full of secrets. Julia has thrived ever since she and her brother were taken in by Esme, the matriarch of thieves and cons in Spira City. While working as a maid for and surreptitiously gathering information about a wealthy household deemed unconventional by the neighbors, with strange noises heard from the basement and people coming and going at odd hours, Julia uncovers a secret that challenges her morals and sense of decency, but she's honor bound to share it, with disastrous results. Difficult choices have significant consequences in Egan's dark, unpredictable tale, and Julia's progression from a streetwise girl with a crush to a self-aware, self-reliant young woman relies strongly on her journey through conflicting loyalties and examination of long-held biases, especially those against witches. A beautifully rendered world and an exquisite sense of timing ensure a page-turning experience. Ages 14 up.