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Beschreibung des Verlags
Four destinies collide in a unique fantasy world of war and wonders, where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battle.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Tordotcom • Kirkus Reviews
A soldier with a curse
Tala lost her family to the empress’s army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress’s crimes don’t haunt her half as much as the crimes Tala has committed against the laws of magic . . . and against her own flesh and blood.
A prince with a debt
Jimuro has inherited the ashes of an empire. Now that the revolution has brought down his kingdom, he must depend on Tala to bring him home safe. But it was his army who murdered her family. Now Tala will be his redemption—or his downfall.
A detective with a grudge
Xiulan is an eccentric, pipe-smoking detective who can solve any mystery—but the biggest mystery of all is her true identity. She’s a princess in disguise, and she plans to secure her throne by presenting her father with the ultimate prize: the world’s most wanted prince.
A thief with a broken heart
Lee is a small-time criminal who lives by only one law: Leave them before they leave you. But when Princess Xiulan asks her to be her partner in crime—and offers her a magical animal companion as a reward—she can’t say no, and she soon finds she doesn’t want to leave the princess behind.
This band of rogues and royals should all be enemies, but they unite for a common purpose: to defeat an unstoppable killer who defies the laws of magic. In this battle, they will forge unexpected bonds of friendship and love that will change their lives—and begin to change the world.
Four cultures collide in this disjointed journey across a land reminiscent of post-colonial Southeast Asia. Iron Prince Jimuro of Tomoda, last of his bloodline, fights to make it to his own coronation, hoping to establish an unprecedented reign of peace. Bitter and remorseful Tala of the Sanbu Islands wears her anger like a shield, and ensuring the safety of Prince Jimuro is the only goal that spurs her on. Lee Yeon-Ji of the Jeongson vassal state of Shang, who lives by her rule of "leave them before they leave you," is recruited into the powerful Li-Quan police force and sent to capture the prince. Princess Shang Xiulan vies for the Shang throne against her own sister by using the Iron Prince as an offering. Magic abilities pop up without notice as the plot requires, and the geographical staging and overlapping territories are confusing. Krueger (Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge) does little to develop the plot or the fantastical aspects of the setting, but the book teems with cultural references in the characters' personalities. Readers with a taste for Southeast Asian culture will appreciate the backdrop, even if they are less than won over by the story itself.