This dark and enthralling companion novel to Murkmere, which is complete in itself, continues the story of Leah and Aggie through the eyes of a different narrator

I am the girl with no name… I have a secret I must never tell. If I do, they will come after me – the Protector and his men.

Only a number branded on her arm betrays the orphan girl’s past. When she arrives at Murkmere Hall to be a kitchen maid, they call her Scuff; little do they guess that she has committed a terrible crime. Haunted by her dark secret, all Scuff can do is pray to the divine beings – the birds – for forgiveness.

Now, five years later, the past is catching up with Scuff. Hunted from all sides, she flees Murkmere, only to be forced back to the cruel confines of the Capital, and the Orphans’ Home where it all began.

Read Patricia's notes on the book

Elliott’s magical use of language and attention to detail create a thrilling adventure, beautifully told.


…superb, with unexpected twists of fortune and wonderful atmosphere conveyed in writing of real distinction. …Not just a page-turner, but a potential classic.


This is a beautiful, compelling novel.

The Guardian

UK book cover for Ambergate

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