Teotl has been a loyal servant of the Priestess for forty years. Endowed with the incredible ability to absorb force and redirect it, she is nearly invincible, a dangerous enemy feared throughout the League of Magi. Her last mission ended in failure, when she could not stop the Twins from creating their newest Familiar, the cannibal spirit of winter, Coldheart. It has been three years since, and Teotl has been an outcast in her own organization.
Now the Priestess has a new assignment: assassinate Wei Lai, Apprentice to the Butterfly. It should be a simple task, and Teotl looks forward to once again being accepted by the Priestess. Something goes wrong almost immediately when a mysterious explosion kills all of Teotl's men and takes away her incredible power. Deep in enemy territory, powerless, alone, and hunted by the sleepless undead minions of the Butterfly, Teotl is thrown into the most desperate fight of her long life.
The novella "The Daughter Gambit" opens the book, which is rounded out by eight short stories. "Children of the Snake," pits a strange cult against a dogged investigator; in "Wooden Faith," an extradimensional being experiences an existential crisis; Rose Cross finds love in "Forever for a Moment;" "Conservation of Light" finds a witch trying to live in peace far away from the League; danger closes in on a double agent in "Playback;" in "Until There's Nothing Left of You," an Apprentice returns to the love of his life; and in "Masu Station," a ghost seeks revenge for his murder.