This first in the Rook & Rose trilogy has been on my to-read list for a while, but I'll confess it's length was a bit daunting. Not because I don't like a longer book, but because I never felt I had the time to allow myself to settle in and become immersed. But once I did that? I was. Immersed. Immersed in a society and world and immersed in a plot that involves reverses and double reverses enacted by well-crafted characters, none of whom is quite what they seem and all of whom have multiple agendas.
Ren escaped her criminal master and the divided city of Nadezra years ago. Now she's returned to run a long con to set her foster sister and herself up for life. The con? She's posing as a relative of the noble family House Traementis. And while the head of the family is a bit skeptical, Ren's explanation of her background is believed and she's cautiously allowed into their social circle. Unfortunately as Ren becomes better acquainted with House Traementis she finds that all is not well and their coffers are nearly empty. The deeper she delves into what is going on the more she realizes that the fate of the Traementis is being strongly affected by the political maneuverings of other noble houses and the uneasy state of unrest that permeates the city. Ren will have to decide just how much she's willing to help her "family" and how far she'll go in her con. I'm not going to say more than that. Partially because it's wonderfully complex and partially so that you can discover all the twists and turns yourself.
It wasn't until I finished this first and went to get book two, The Liar's Knot, that I realized that M. A. Carrick is a pen name for two authors, Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms. If I'd known that sooner, I'd have read this a lot sooner as I love Marie Brennan's books. And she has another winner with this trilogy. If you, now that the nights are long, are looking for that book that will take you to another world? This is it.