My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.
The world is full of monsters. The murder of an innocent may take a life, but now something is born from that; The Malchai and the Corsai, creatures born of the shadows of past violence who feed on human flesh and blood. There are also the dreaded Sunai, monsters who appear entirely human but can steal a sinner’s soul with their song.
Kate Harker is a the daughter of a man who runs the north half of Verity, with the aid of Malchai that are loyal to him, and the use of protective metals that those who can afford them. Her father’s influence has kept Kate from getting into too much trouble – even though she’s on her sixth boarding school. After she burns down the chapel, he has to finally give her what she wants – allowing her to come home.
August Flynn is a Sunai, able to pull confessions from a sinner by his very presence, and their souls from their bodies with his violin. He and the other two Sunai in existence live on the south side of Verity with their adoptive father, Henry Flynn, helping to enforce the shaky truce that has kept the Flynn and Harker’s people (and monsters) from attacking each other.
But monsters have been crossing the Seam, and each side suspects the other. August is sent to attend Kate’s new school, in the guise of a fellow new student, to keep an eye on her and learn what he can. With two sides of the city gearing up for violence and some monsters actively trying to tear the truce down, the duo have to learn who they really are, and what side of the Seam they want to be on.