Sometimes playing to lose is the only way to survive the game of Houses. Trapped in a hasty marriage to lower-caste Jannik and trying to make the best of their exile, Felicita is immersed in the machinations of the powerful ruling families. MallenIve is worlds apart from Felicita’s native Pelimburg, and her family name and standing will not help her here. Haunted by her past and those who died because of her, she attempts to regain her status as the scion of a once-great House, while confronting her true feelings for her distant husband. If MallenIve’s leaders have their way, Jannik will soon have no more rights than an animal, and a union that once seemed to offer a solution to Felicita’s problems is now a dangerous liability. Felicita’s feelings are conflicted and it is all too easy to fall into the prejudiced mindset of the higher castes…until faceless corpses begin turning up on the rubbish tips, and Felicita might be the only hope Jannik and his people have.