An orphan who grew up thieving on the streets to survive, Yukari has excelled at keeping herself invisible and alive, until a foolish lapse in judgment lands her on the criminal overlord Amund’s bad side. Only one safe place is left for her to flee: Layalis, Lord Talal’s lands.
The legends of the Beast Lord are lurid, and though Yukari doesn’t believe them, the superstition works to her advantage. Amund and his thugs wouldn’t dare follow her, and she may even be able to turn the forced exile to her advantage. Lord Talal’s lands are prime territory, unexploited for the last decade, and if she can get in his good graces, she may just be able to swindle him out of enough coin to appease Amund.
But Layalis is even stranger than Yukari could have anticipated. Though Lord Talal looks like a monster, he proves to be a kind, considerate master beloved by his tenants, and he treats Yukari like a guest.
Yet despite the beauty of his castle and the bounty of his lands, his servants have a habit of implying that Layalis is a horrible prison, and what initially seems a paradise gradually reveals its darker side. In spite of herself, Yukari begins to care about Lord Talal. Can she find a way to break the curse that has plagued his land for ten years? Or has she escaped to Layalis only to trade her hardscrabble existence for a different kind of cage?