With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.
Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body - though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean's imploring - and the Bondsmage's mention of a woman from Locke's past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.
Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha - or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.
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I am really on the fence about this book. While it is the third book of the series, I didn't feel any lack in not reading the first two since the author did an excellent job of covering the back story. And the tale or tales was one that immediately intrigued me.
My issue was that this was actually two stories, one that was happening in the present and yet another that happened years ago. They did relate in that the main characters in both tales were the same. I just would have preferred to have picked up and read two books rather then jumping back and forth through time.
I do recommend this book because the writing was exceptional and the plot engrossing. I even really liked the three main characters, Locke, Jean and Sabetha. I am just finicky about only wanting to keep track of one story at a time.