Sebastian Cortez believes himself to be a man without morals, capable of anything. He is a very talented thief but his ambitions are set on becoming very talented in all of man’s darker deeds. Seeing the abhorrence of killing as a childish weakness, and privately knowing he shares it, he accepts tasks that push his lack of morals further and further but cannot bring himself to kill. Accepting he’s not descended into complete darkness, he looks for a way to push himself further towards it. He finds someone paying good coin to ruin a political marriage, very specifically by ruining the future bride to the Prince of Spireheim, a powerful trading hub.
Overcoming her bodyguard, the ghost-talking magician Juan Julio, he commits the deed and flees the scene chased by panic and a sudden, powerful sucker punch of guilt. Seb isn’t the dark, amoral man he believed himself to be, wanted to be, and finds himself crippled by guilt for what he’s done. Resolving to postpone his soul searching and introspection until he’s paid and safe, Seb sets out to achieve these two things.
But there is more going on in Spireheim than he originally expected. After Juan Julio, disgraced and dishonoured by his failure to protect the princess, catches up to Seb, the thief is forced to help him hunt down the men who set this plot in motion. The marriage was to ally the trading city-state with the most powerful empire in the known world, and the Prince of Spireheim’s reaction to his new bride’s assault and ruin looks to bring war to his fledgling nation. As Seb and Julio uncover more and more of the conspiracy they discover things that draw old myths into the realms of fact, and an wicked plot to bring death and destruction on a scale never before seen – all for the selfish ambitions of a man who is what Seb thought he wanted to be.
To save the lives of thousands – and, importantly, his own – Sebastian must conquer his inner demons and deal with the consequences of his recent crimes while working with the people he has hurt most. But the magician Juan Julio is not the only name on the list of people who want to kill him, and to save his life Seb must earn forgiveness for his sins with more than just fast talk and easy charm.