Brilliant young space grifter Orry Kent works the space-lanes with her family - until the day she steals a pendant and runs headlong into a dark conspiracy that threatens every planet in the system. Orry's father is the best conman in the quadrant; his elaborate heists target the decadent ruling families of the Ascendancy - but this time, Orry's gone off-script. Less than an hour later, the Duke's spoiled grandson is dead and Orry's on the run with her dad and brother, accused of a murder she didn't commit. Orry's stolen a pendant crafted by the mysterious civilisation that once lived on the Shattermoon, and ruthless space pirate Morven Dyas isn't the only one who wants it. It doesn't take Dyas long to track Orry down, or to threaten her with her worst fear - but she's unexpectedly rescued by grumpy loner Jurgen Mender and his ageing spaceship, the Dainty Jane. It takes all Orry's powers of persuasion to get Mender to agree to her plan, when even she can see the madness of pitting an inexperienced young grifter, a space-dog long past his best and an obsolete spaceship against the Imperial Fleet, the worst of the space pirates - and the alien Kadirans, who are getting bored with the long, uneasy truce with humankind . . .