Upon his arrival at the Capitol, Géta Disphreni finds himself assigned to playing his flute for Mages. Afflicted with unwanted Gifts of his own and hounded by bullies, he struggles to attend his schooling and duties—and the worst part of it all? He must play for a mannerless Mage.
Just-returned to the Capitol, and gruff at the best of times, Asthané Étiée must attend the Empress’s whim in daily International Council sessions in hopes of placing an army on the newly-contested border where his previous musician died. Further complications arise when a former lover makes himself known, seeking a repeat of the romance they shared as youths.
Only Asthané’s determination to work with—and befriend—Géta can bring them closer together, but it might already be too late.