When a prostitute dies bearing the ring of a dead queen, Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and agent of the Crown, is called in to investigate. The case takes her down into the tombs far beneath the city of Erisín, into the supremely creepy lairs of the vampiric vrykoloi, where what she discovers must be kept secret from the king at all costs.
Unfortunately for Isyllt, there are worse things afoot than grave- robbing and revolution-fomenting vrykoloi. There is also a long-dead sorceress plotting a triumphant return from the grave, a plot that includes Isyllt’s former lover Kiril, the Crown Prince’s mistress Sevedra Severos, and more than a few innocent bystanders. Isyllt will have to choose between her duty and her heart and what she chooses will affect everyone’s lives. (ORBIT, Dec., 480 pp., $7.99)