Exiled from the communion of the Tremere Pyramid, Antigone Baines sheds the robes of her novitiate like a second and ill-fitting skin. In their place, she dons the Widow's Weeds - the formal mourning clothes, symbol of her solitary vigil over the restless dead. Alone she must unravel the riddle of the Conventicle, discover the identity of the prince's would be assassin, and carve out her own place along the treacherous precipice between the worlds of the quick and the dead.
Meanwhile, within the shelter of the Chantry of the Five Boroughs, RegentAisling Sturbridge faces the fight of her unlife – a fight all the more deadly for the fact that her adversary is the very order that she is pledged to uphold. Faced with determined Inquisitors from the Fatherhouse in Vienna, Sturbridge finds herself standing trial for the Sins of the Father.
Here the haunting story that began in Widow's Walk unfolds like a flower of glass and flame. As Antigone and Sturbridge are about to discover, no one - no matter her station - is immune to its deadly caress
The author's preface in the book laments the events of the first novel, in which the Empire State Building is bombed, and that the real life events of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are so similar and within the same city, fictional and real.