A beautifully crafted epic adventure spiced with magic from the acclaimed author of Hour of the Bees. Fished from the river as an infant and raised by a roving band of street urchins who call themselves the Crowns, eight-year-old Duck keeps her head down and her mouth shut. It's a rollicking life, always thieving, always on the run - until the ragtag Crowns infiltrate an abandoned cathedral in the city of Odierne and decide to put down roots.
It's all part of the bold new plan hatched by the Crowns' fearless leader, Gnat, to ensure the Crowns always have a steady supply of food and money. But no sooner is Duck apprenticed to the kindly local baker than her allegiances start to blur. Who is she really: a Crown or an apprentice baker? And who does she want to be? Meanwhile, high above the streets of Odierne, on the roof of the unfinished cathedral, an old and ugly gargoyle grows weary of waiting to fulfil his own destiny to watch and protect.
Told in alternating viewpoints, this exquisite novel evokes a timeless tale of love, self-discovery, and what it means to be rescued.