Mimics are the pariahs of the city, shapeshifters who inspire suspicion and hostility. They are prohibited from entering all but the outermost district of the city by the grim Protectors, who stand guard at the gates and scry for the forbidden blood of mimicry.
But Issa likes a challenge, and she’s too good to ever get caught — until she pushes her luck just a little too far and finds herself at the mercy of Tiral, a shrewd Protector with an agenda of his own. Instead of bringing her to the authorities for punishment, he strikes a bargain with her. If she will use her mimicry to serve his purposes, he will protect her and teach her the ways of the wealthy inner districts. She doesn’t really have a choice. Might as well enjoy a life of luxury, even as an imposter.
Then she finds out what happens to the mimics who aren’t so lucky.