Hester Featherstone thought she had life on the Ol’ Smoke’s filthy, dangerous streets all figured out. As a freelance toothpicker, she salvages children’s teeth for the viceroy, while keeping her identity as a mutant of the insect-wing class a secret. Hester’s luck takes a turn for the worse the day she kills fellow toothpicker Phelan MacHoof in self-defense. Spotted flying from the scene, she soon finds herself caught in the viceroy’s plot to eliminate his wife’s lovers, while pursued by the paramilitary Dental Corps. As she attempts to secure her freedom and solve the mystery of the strange needle tooth necklaces at the root of her troubles, each threat reveals unexpected allies. Her search leads her across the city through all walks of life until she comes face-to-face with the viceroy himself. Hester begins to think she might never be free of her pursuers--and that she might have been wrong about the way her luck has changed, and who she wants to be.