Adrien Desfourneaux, professor of magic, must survive his own failing mental health and a tenuous partnership with a dangerous ally in order to save the city of Astrum from a spreading curse.
Adrien Desfourneaux, professor of magic and disgraced ex-physician, has discovered a conspiracy. Someone is inflicting magical comas on the inhabitants of the massive city of Astrum, and no one knows how or why. Caught between a faction of scheming magical academics and an explosive schism in the ranks of the Astrum’s power-hungry military, Adrien is swallowed by the growing chaos. Alongside Gennady, an unruly, damaged young soldier, and Malise, a brilliant healer and Adrien’s best friend, Adrien searches for a way to stop the spreading curse before the city implodes. He must survive his own bipolar disorder, his self-destructive tendencies, and his entanglement with the man who doesn’t love him back.
“An absorbing meditation on curses and blessings, martyrs and saints—and a rare fantasy that recognizes that the mind is more mysterious and more vital than any spell. It is writers like Madeleine Nakamura who are going to bring us all into the next age of the world.”
—Brian Conn, author of The Fixed Stars: Thirty-Seven Emblems for the Perilous Season
“Adrien’s narration was vivid, prickly, and compelling, and I loved the world she built around him, especially the beautiful names and terms, but also the institutional history of Pharmakeia and Curia (and Chirurgeonate), with the occasional, tantalizing glimpses of the wider world. And I admired the way she hung the plot together on the dual armatures of that institutional history and Adrien’s deeply flawed character.”
—Katherine Addison, author of The Goblin Emperor