Orphan Rossamünd Bookchild has been sworn into the Emperor’s service as a lamplighter—his duty to light the lamps along the Emperor’s highways and protect travelers from the ferocious bogles that live in the wild. But he’s found it no easier to fit in with the lamplighters than he ever has—always too small and too meek. His loneliness continues no matter how hard he tries to succeed.

But when a haughty young girl, a member of a suspiciously regarded society of women teratologists—monster hunters—is forced upon the lamplighters for training, Rossamünd may no longer be the most despised soul around. As Rossamünd begins to make new friends in the dangerous world of the Half-Continent, he also seems to make more enemies, finding himself pushed toward a terrible destiny, a fate beyond anything he could ever have imagined.
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