Told in two timelines, alternating between an idealistic and youthful woman’s rise to power as she helps her city fall under militarized rule, and then her fall from grace two decades later as she unravels the truth of what really happened, perfect for fans of N.K. Jemisin and Kameron Hurley.
Zemolai dreamed of becoming a Winged, one of the physically-enhanced warriors protecting the city—until she achieved it. Now, twenty-six years of body modification and combat have taken their toll. Zemolai is weary—so weary, that when she intercepts a minor crime, she opts for mercy for once and lets the poor man go. Unfortunately, he has ties to the underground insurgency, and his friends detonate a bomb at her god’s tower. Zemolai is stripped of her job, her home, and worst of all: her wings.
Heartbroken and suffering from implant withdrawal, Zemolai is abandoned in a city that hates her. She’s nursed back to health by the very insurgents who got her into this mess: young idealists with a vision much like hers at their age. They’re part of a workers’ revolution, and they want her help battling the mecha regime. But Zemolai was pivotal in the war that brought her sect into power, and she’s still convinced she did everything for the right reason: love of her family, her god, and her instructor, Winged Vodaya.
That old loyalty has come back to haunt her. Because Vodaya is now the leader of their sect. And she might be willing to take Zemolai back—but only in exchange for the rebels who saved her life.
Zemolai did terrible things to earn her wings. How far would she go to get them back?