Jewel Markess, Jay, is an orphan living on the streets of Averalaan when she steals from Ararath. Rath has spent his life avoiding personal relationships so he's not sure why he follows her beyond a vague sense that something is different about Jay. When she falls ill he keeps her at his apartment telling himself it's only until she recovers. It's hard to categorize Rath since he's a bit of a confidence man, thief, spy, and scholar. But when he needs money he delves into the undercity, the silent ancient city below Averalaan, that only Rath knows about. Then one night Jay warns him, as he goes to sell some pieces from the undercity, that he's meeting a man who will have him followed. Now Rath has two puzzles. Who is this man that wants to kill him and how did Jay know?