Two young witches, once inseparable, are set at odds by secrets and wildly dangerous magic.
In the waning days of World War II, with Allied victory all but certain, desperate Nazi diabolists search for a demonic superweapon to turn the tide. A secluded castle somewhere in the south of Germany serves as a laboratory for experiments conducted upon human prisoners, experiments as vile as they are deadly.
Across the English Channel, tucked into the sleepy Cumbrian countryside, lies the Library, the repository of occult knowledge for the Société des Éclairées, an international organization of diabolists. There, best friends Jane Blackwood and Miriam Cantor, tutored by the Société’s Librarian—and Jane’s mother—Nancy, prepare to undergo the Test that will determine their future as diabolists.
When Miriam learns her missing parents are suspected of betraying the Société to the Nazis, she embarks on a quest to clear their names, a quest involving dangerous diabolic practices that will demand more of her than she can imagine. Meanwhile Jane, struggling with dark obsessions of her own, embraces a forbidden use of the Art that could put everyone she loves in danger.
As their friendship buckles under the stress of too many secrets, Jane and Miriam will come face to face with unexpected truths that change everything they know about the war, the world, and most of all themselves. After all, some choices cannot be unmade--and a sacrifice made with the most noble intention might end up creating a monster.
About the Author
MOLLY TANZER is the Sydney J. Bounds and Wonderland Book Award–nominated author of Vermilion (an NPR and io9 Best Book of 2015), A Pretty Mouth, the historical crime novel The Pleasure Merchant, and other works. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
"This companion to Tanzer's other two Creatures novels (Creatures of Want and Ruin, 2018, etc.) dives deeper into the diabolists' world and their magical sciences. Familiarity with the previous books is unnecessary to enjoy this well-written, fun, and thoughtful tale of evil Nazi plots, body-snatching behind enemy lines, magical libraries, complicated parental relationships, deep-seated prejudices, and suspicious felines. An enticing genre mashup. Horror, sci-fi, and fantasy readers alike will find something to love and someone to root for." --Kirkus Reviews