Former archivist Reg Whitney, expert thief Querry Knotte, and the clockwork boy known as Frolic are fugitives from Halcyon living on a small island. While Reg is content to lead a safe and settled life, there is trouble in paradise: Querry is bored, and Frolic can’t help but ponder his own existence.
When Querry and Frolic get caught breaking into Baron Starling’s villa, all three men are bamboozled into accompanying the baron on a quest for arcane knowledge. But their jungle destination holds more danger than anyone on the expedition expects.
Reg knows their crew is made up of criminals—the kind who can’t be trusted—which puts a strain on the trio. He’s certain the baron and the mercenary Jean-Andre are hiding something that puts them all in danger. Querry and the baron grow close, leaving Reg and Frolic feeling alienated. Frolic’s friendship with a fey servant just strains the trio’s dynamic further. Even if Reg, Querry, and Frolic survive the quest, their relationship will never be the same.