In a debut fantasy, Robbins introduces the readers to the city of Murne and the court of Antyre, forsaken by the gods and ruled by old aristocracy values. After Miranda’s best friend and companion Janus, the bastard son of the earl of Last and last living blood relative, is kidnapped from the slums to become heir, she is devastated. In her despair, she seeks refuge in the fallen temple of the Black-Winged Ani, the goddess of love and vengeance. The story follows the transformation of the then 15 year old Miranda, from a street smart thief of the Relicts, to an attractive male courtier possessed by Ani and seeking revenge for her lost friend.
Maledicte, as she renames herself finds shelter in the home of the old and dissolute Baron Vornatti, another enemy of Last. As she plots her revenge, she trains herself in the skills necessary to navigate the lewd and vile baron as well as the treacherous court-politics, blackmail, dueling, twisted love affairs and murder. Along the way, she finds friendship, loyalty and trust in the baron’s servant Gilly. But her trust only extends so far, and Ani’s possession grows more bloodthirsty every day.
A dark and complex plot, as deep as the characters themselves, Robbins creates a compelling storyline, balancing the emotions of love and vengeance through Maledicte’s feeling for both Janus and Gilly and her internal battle with the merciless Ani. Although, at times a little long winded, and high on sexual tension without eloquent release, the complexity of the characters and the storytelling of Robbins create a unique fantasy novel.