12-year-old Lilah asks, Why are the kingdom's magic spells fading? But her uncle the king only wants a stronger army. Why are the kids outside the palace gates ragged and hungry? But the king keeps raising taxes. Her older brother Peitar, the king's heir, spends more time writing mysterious letters than talking to her. And her father just wants her to learn court manners.
Since everyone is ignoring her, Lilah disguises herself and slips over the walls to befriend those ragged kids. She learns that revolution is fermenting, led by the charismatic young commoner Derek. And Lilah is shocked to learn that her scholarly brother is allied with Derek.
The revolution ignites into chaos and violence. Lilah and her friends are determined to help however they can. But what can four kids do? Become spies, of course Chases and disguises, captures and trials lead to a wild climax, with Lilah right in the middle.
First published by Viking, and a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, this young adult fantasy has been completely revised for the Book View Cafe edition.