Sequel to The Element of Fire (not reviewed), its backdrop resembling a 19th-century Paris that within living memory was occupied by the Unseelie Court. By day in the city Vienne, in the land of Ile-Rien, Nicholas Valiarde is a modestly wealthy art importer; by night, evading the attentions of the tenacious and capable Inspector Sebastion Ronsarde, Nicholas becomes the thief Donatien. Either way, his vast and intricate plot to destroy his mortal enemy, Count Rive Montesq, is reaching a critical phase. The villainous Montesq arranged the execution of Nicholas’s beloved mentor, Dr. Edouard Viller, on the false charge of necromancy. But Nicholas finds his plans are being disrupted by the mysterious spiritualist Dr. Octave, who appears to be using a device invented by Viller to contact the dead. Worse, Octave is backed by a hidden but extremely powerful sorcerer. Nicholas’s own sorcerous helper, the opium addict Arisilde, inexplicably falls into a deathlike coma, while his other assistants, ex-Guards Captain Reynard and actress Madeline, continue to probe the affairs of Montesq. As Nicholas strives to keep ahead of a ghastly and lethal Sending, he learns the probable identity of his adversary, a sorcerer named Constant Macob. Problem is, Macob’s been dead for 200 years . . . . Splendid plotting and characters and agreeably varied magics; not as compellingly original as City of Bones (1995), but thoroughly engaging nonetheless.