The Empress's TombEdit
The preface starts off with an intriguing tale of an Empress mistaken for a traitor. It reveals that the runaway princess was not really a traitor, and her loyal servant had sneaked the truth inside the princesses coffin.
As the story begins Ananka is having breakfast with her mom, and is shown the newspaper. A headline reads, "Is This the Work of Kiki Strike?" The article states that someone had let wild animals loose, all with the sign, I want to go home. Ananka's mom suspects that Kiki DID have part in this, and then grills her about her grades. Later on, Ananka comes face-to-face with a 6-foot-tall (1.8 m) squirrel painted on a side of a building, holding up a sign that reads, "YOUR MONEY WILL SET ALL THE ANIMALS FREE". Ananka does not think that it was Kiki's doing since Kiki could "speak a dozen languages and kick butts twice her size, but couldn't draw a convincing stick figure". She then goes to her meeting place expecting to see Kiki, since they are going to finish their map of the Shadow City. After a while she decides to go home, stopping by Kiki's house, which is empty. Everything is perfectly in place except that Verushka's wheelchair is sitting in the middle of the room. Soon, the story shows a plot start when Kiki Strike doesn't show up for a meeting leaving Ananka puzzled. Soon, everything is different: Betty falls in love, Ananka might be sent to boarding school, Kiki is obviously stressed out, and Oona's father seems to want her back, to settle his "hungry ghost" problem with her dead mother. Read on as Ananka sniffs a traitor, and then unwillingly, falls in to the frying pan herself. Everyone is finding dangerous secrets about themselves and the trust in between the Irregulars starts dissolving...unless Ananka and the rest of the Irregulars start accepting their mistakes and forgive each other so that they can save all of their lives and some more. A fast paced novel that reveals that everyone has something to hide that will in time be revealed. The story ends on a cliffhanger, to be revealed in the next book, the Darkness Dwellers