The royal city of Astreiant, the capital of the Kingdom of Chenedolle, is bracing itself for the influx of people, money, and trouble that invariably accompanies the Midsummer Fair. For Nicolas Rathe, the wiry, street-smart pointsman with a strong sense of justice, the fair means more work: keeping the peace, preventing the pickpockets from getting too bold, and tracking down runaway youths and apprentices. But this year the number of missing children is far larger than usual; someone has been stealing them away without a trace and the populace is getting angry. At least the children are alive, Rathe knows, even though it adds to the mystery; the necromancers have not noticed any new ghosts of children.
To complicate matters, the citizens have another good reason to be anxious: theirs is a world ruled by the stars, and the heavens are now in a transition that heralds an upheaval in the Kingdom and possibly even the death of the reigning Queen. Contenders for the throne are jockeying for position, each claiming that her stars are the luckiest and most suited for the position.
Rathe suspects that the astrological portents and the missing children are linked, but has no idea how. With the unlikely help of Philip Eslingen, a handsome, out-of-work soldier, Rathe must find the children and stop whatever dark plans are being hatched before the city explodes into chaos.
- Bisexual male protagonists
Where to Find
- Published February 1st 1997 by Tor Books (first published December 1st 1995)
- Paperback (ISBN13: 9780812550993)