The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please. Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but she grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city's asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which the memories of a "criminal" are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her--even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier. To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.