The People's Covenant and God's Hammer have raged a Cold War that has lasted for over twenty years. A war without armies, where battles are fought in the dark and information is the most dangerous weapon.
In this world —which sometimes seems the Middle Ages, sometimes the Renaissance and sometimes the Nineteenth Century— lives Yáxtor Brandan, empirical adept at the service of the Queen of Alboné. A relentless, amoral and unscrupulous character, Yáxtor fights to recover his own past as he tries to prevent a new player in the espionage game to end the world, as he knows it.
A fascinating fast-moving and complex plot, full of tension and surprises and excellently paced; a main character for whom it should be impossible to feel the slightest sympathy, and yet somehow we do, even as his cruelty disturbs us more and more -an extremely difficult feat to pull off so successfully; powerful secondary actors, who either leave you with a sense of uneasiness with regard to their motivations and loyalties, or make you want to shout out -as people did in the early days of cinema- "Look out, don't trust him!"; and a pervading atmosphere of tragedy, especially in a final unexpected and shocking, yet on reflection almost inevitable, scene. In short, a totally addictive and highly original novel set in a world that is at once both strangely familiar and disturbingly alien.
—Steve Redwood, author of Fisher of Devils.