Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of the city of Bar-Selehm. Dramatically different communities live and work alongside each other. The white Feldish command the nations higher echelons of society. The native Mahweni are divided between city life and the savannah. And then theres Ang, part of the Lani community who immigrated over generations ago as servants and now mostly live in poverty on Bar-Selehms edges. When Ang is supposed to meet her new apprentice Berrit, she instead finds him dead. That same night, the Beacon, an invaluable historical icon, is stolen. The Beacons theft commands the headlines, yet no one seems to care about Berrits murderexcept for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician. When he offers her a job investigating his death, she plunges headlong into new and unexpected dangers. Meanwhile, crowds gather in protests over the citys mounting troubles. Rumors surrounding the Beacons theft grow. More suspicious deaths occur. With no one to help Ang except Josiahs haughty younger sister, a savvy newspaper girl, and a kindhearted herder, Ang must rely on her intellect and strength to resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city descends into chaos.