After the love of her life, Janus, is stolen by Lord Last who hopes to make his bastard son heir, Miranda swears she will do anything to get him back, even pledge herself to Ani, the dead goddess of Vengence, who may not be so dead after all, and become the ward of the lascivious old courtier Vornatti. The road to revenge is a long one, one that sees her become the dark and mysterious courtier Maledicte. In the corrupt and treacherous court, Maledicte has only two who he can trust to help him regain Janus, his friend and servant Gilly, and black Ani inside him...I really liked this book a lot, but I'm still digesting it to see if I loved it, because it certainly didn't end the way I thought it would. It reminded me a lot of a slightly 'darker, and edgier' version of the world depicted in Ellen Kushner's 'Swordspoint' and The Privilege of the Sword', what with all the debauched and corrupted courtiers and aristocracy and the desperately poor and savage Relicts. The way it dealt with gender and identity was really fascinating to me, the way Maledicte mostly displaced Miranda, and how Ani fought to displace Maledicte. There's a sequel, but it doesn't seem like Maledicte is in the sequel, which makes me not as enthusiastic about it, because I really loved Maledicte. He was one of my favorite characters I've read recently.