Curses are made to be broken. For centuries, generations of Everlys have seen their brightest and best disappear, taken as punishment for a crime no one remembers, for a purpose no one understands. Their tormentor is a woman named Penelope, who never ages, never grows sick – and never forgives a debt.
Ten years ago, Violet Everly’s mother left, determined to break their curse, and never returned. Now Violet must find her mother, or she will be taken in her place. To do so, she must descend into a seductive magical underworld of power-hungry scholars, fickle gods and monsters bent on revenge.
She must also contend with Penelope’s quiet assistant, Aleksander, who she knows cannot be trusted – and yet to whom she finds herself undeniably drawn. Tied to a very literal deadline, Violet will travel the edges of the world to find Marianne and the key to the city of stardust, where the Everly story began . . .