From the author: Lilith Hoyl is a Heroka of the bird totem—a shapeshifter who hates the humans who killed her mate and hunt her kind. But when she meets a young girl awaiting a critical operation, their mutual love for birds brings joy back into both their lives. "One expects magic with this set-up, and magic does, indeed, follow, but pain cannot be forever vanquished… The story charms as well as pains. … Smith avoids all the pitfalls and gives us something bittersweet instead." —Fantasy Literature
A crystal shadow soared unnoticed over steel-glass city cliffs, flickering through visibility in a summer sun. As it passed the towers, a tremor rippled its length, breaking the rhythm of great wings. The change had begun.
Fear rising, it scanned rooftops for the nearest landing spot then swerved toward a building marked by a white "H" on a blue square. The roof rushed closer as it flailed at humid air. Its talons caught on the roof edge, and a scream like breaking glass escaped it....