From debut novelist Elijah Kinch Spector comes Kalyna the Soothsayer, a thrilling tale in the vein of Spinning Silver and The Traitor Baru Cormorant following a young, brash "clairvoyant" con artist who must prophesize her way out of peril.
Every member of Kalyna’s family has the Gift: the ability to see the future. For generations, they traveled the four kingdoms of the Tetrarchia selling their services as soothsayers. Every child of their family is born with this Gift—everyone except Kalyna.
For years, Kalyna has supported her father—whose grip on reality is straining under the weight of his confused visions of the future—and her cruel grandmother on the strength of her wits, using informants and trickery to falsify prophecies for coin, and scrounge together a living for them all. But it’s getting harder every year. And poverty turns to danger when, on the strength of her reputation for prophecy, Kalyna is pressed into service by Lenz, the spymaster to the prince of Rotfelsen.
Lenz orders Kalyna to use her "Gift," to uncover threats against Rotfelsen’s king, and holds her family hostage against her good behavior. But Rotfelsenisch politics are devious, the king’s enemies abound, and Kalyna’s skills for investigation and deception are tested to the limit. Worse, the conspiracy she does begin to uncover points to a larger threat, not only to the King of Rotfelsen but to all four monarchs at their annual governing council—which falls on precisely the same day that Kalyna’s father has prophesied the catastrophic collapse of the whole Tetrarchia.
Kalyna is determined to protect her family and her newfound friends—and to save the Tetrarchia, too. But as she is drawn deeper into palace intrigue, she can no longer tell if her manipulations are helping prevent the Tetrarchia’s destruction—or if her lies will bring about its prophesized downfall.