Thirteen year old Rani Trader is out of her caste, newly apprenticed to the Glasswrights. Overworked and underfed, she is wondering if it is worth the sacrifices her family is making when events spiral out of control. She is blamed for the assassination of a royal prince, and branded a traitor. The guild is destroyed, and Rani must battle to find the real cause, to save her life and her honour. But the price for exposing the traitors may be too high for her to pay.
This is not your usual kind of "apprentice coming of age in a fantasy setting" story, at all. The background is grittily, unpleasantly real, and Rani is a complex character, caught up in a dark conspiracy, unsure which way to turn, being betrayed on all sides, making terrible mistakes along the way. There's rather too much coincidence driving the plot for my liking, and Rani's final decision of which side to take is a bit too easy, but this is different and interesting, and I want to see what happens to Rani next.