'On the edge of a mystical border called the Limen, close to a beautiful canal-laced city, a humble candlemaker rescues a child whom he raises as his apprentice.
'Years pass and the child's unusual talents are revealed, the gentle art of candlemaking slowly transforming into something far more sinister.
'Lingering in the shadows, enemies watch and wait - a vengeful aristocrat, an exotic queen and the lethal creatures known only as the Morte Whisperers.
'They hunger after the child's ancient magic and will do anything to control it - betray, lie, manipulate. Even murder.
'A story of intrigue, deadly magic and a love so deep it transcends life itself. (From the publisher's website.)
For Edna Rosenthal (1937-2006), Eva Meyer (1913-2007), Moira Adams and Patricia Brooks—mothers, friends and beloved.
Epigraph (to part one):
'Father,' asked one of his children, 'what are the stars?'
'The stars are stars, and little things that shine as thou seest.'
'Then they are like candles, perhaps?'
'Make thy account that they are candles exactly.'
'Of wax or tallow?' pursues the boy.
'What! Tallow-candles in heaven? No, certainly—wax, wax!'
William Dean Howells
Epigraph (to part two):
Il s'en alla comme une chandelle
He was snuffed out like a candle
Kingdom of Aquitaine.