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Vân is a scholar from a poor background, eking out a living in the orbitals of the Scattered Pearls Belt as a tutor to a rich family, while hiding the illegal artificial mem-implant she manufactured as a student.
Sunless Woods is a mindship—and not just any mindship, but a notorious thief and a master of disguise. She’s come to the Belt to retire, but is drawn to Vân’s resolute integrity.
When a mysterious corpse is found in the quarters of Vân’s student, Vân and Sunless Woods find themselves following a trail of greed and murder that will lead them from teahouses and ascetic havens to the wreck of a mindship—and to the devastating secrets they’ve kept from each other.
“With this lush, immersive sci-fi tale, de Bodard (The House of Sundering Flames) delves into a world as gritty as it is ethereal… [R]eaders will be swept away by the vivid prose, intrigue, and romance of this intricate tale. This fascinating, unusual story is sure to entrance.”
From Kate Elliot, author of Unconquerable Sun and Cold Magic:
“A magnificent sf mystery, nuanced, intense, and romantic, with a complex, clever plot nested inside de Bodard’s rich, evocative, and vivid Xuya universe.”