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Since her literary debut with the highly praised Mage Heart, fantasist Jane Routley has captivated readers with her noteworthy mixture of "cleverness, subtlety, and emotion" (Locus). Now, following the epic adventures of the acclaimed Fire Angels, Routley uses here trademark skills of characterisation and imagination to continue the riveting tale of the beautiful Dion, the world's most powerful mage, in a mystical empire recalling the fabled opulence of Czarist Russia.
In search of her missing niece, Dion arrives in luxurious Akieva, the glorious and corrupt capital of decadent Aramaya. Here, at the dazzling court of the handsome young emperor, Dion discovers her niece trapped in the web of necromancy and deceit hiding in the magnificent Winter Palace. But lurking at the centre of the web is Dion's arch enemy, Bedazzer, the ruthless demon who has vowed to possess her - no matter what the cost. In the ensuing deadly conflict, Dion must confront the dark secrets of her own heart and the mighty evil concealed in those around her.
Winner of the 1999 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel.