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When you owe money to the biggest criminal in town you are going to need to step up yourthieving game a notch…
Service at the Red Rooster Inn isn’t what you’d call "good," or even "adequate." Darin would be the first to say so, and he owns the place. Evie isn’t much of a barmaid; Kat’s home-brewed ale seems to grow less palatable with each new batch; and Seraphina’s service at the bar leaves much to be desired. As for the bouncer, Big Tom, well, everyone learns right quick to stay on his good side.
They may be bad at running an inn, but they’re the best team of con artists in the Old Queendom. When a prospective client approaches Darin with a high-paying job, he knows he should refuse. But the job is boosting a shipment of priceless imperial dream wine, the most coveted and expensive drink in the world. And, thanks to a stretch of bad luck, he's in deep to The Dame, who oversees criminal enterprises in this part of the Queendom.
If they fail, they’re as good as dead, but if they succeed… well, it’s enough money to get square with the Dame and make all of their dreams come true. Plus, it's an option for Darin to stick it to the empress, who he has good reason to despise.
Then again, there’s a very good reason no one has ever stolen imperial dream wine...
About the Author
Dan Koboldt is a geneticist. His science fiction novel, Domesticating Dragons, is coming out in January from Baen. His popular blog series "Science in Sci Fi, Fact in Fantasy", has led to two writing how-to guides from Writer's Digest books: Putting the Science in Fiction (2018) and Putting the Fact in Fantasy (2022). He is also the author of the Gateways to Alissia trilogy (Harper Voyager), and creator of the sci-fi adventure serial The Triangle (Serial Box, 2019).
"This epic fantasy about a crew of misfits with just a touch of magic and heartbreaking backstories is a rollicking good time of a read. Readers who fell for Christopher Buehlman’s The Blacktongue Thief are going to be head over heels for Koboldt’s latest."
– Library Journal
"Equally lighthearted and action-packed high fantasy.… Koboldt keeps the pace flying through the ensuing daring heist. Readers will hope to see more of Darin and company in future installments."
– Publishers Weekly