"With the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. Locke is slowly succumbing to a lethal poison that no alchemist can cure. With the end nearing, Locke's only hope is to accept a mysterious Bondsmage's offer: act as a political pawn in the Magi elections, and in exchange be healed. But the lifesaving sorcery promises to rival even the most excruciating death, and Locke refuses. Until the Bondsmage invokes the name of Sabetha, the love of Locke's life ... and now his greatest rival. From his first glimpse of Sabetha as a fellow orphan and thief-in-training, Locke was smitten. But after a tumultuous courtship, she broke away. Now they will reunite in another clash of wills. Faced with his only equal in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha--or woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend"--Back cover.