In the future the UN has brought back an ancient way to keep the peace. The children of world leaders are held hostage - if a war begins, they pay with their lives. Greta is the crown princess of the Panpolar Confederacy, a superpower formed of modern-day Canada. She is also a child of peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world: the great artificial intelligence, Talis. The hostages are Talis' strategy to keep the peace: If her country enters a war, Greta dies.
"V much good"
Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade” - a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square. Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her.
Greta Stuart has become AI. New transmitters have silvered her fingerprints. New receptors have transformed her vision. And the whole of her memory has become one book in a vast library of instant knowledge. Greta is ready to rule the world. But the new technology is also killing her. Greta is only 16 years old, but her new enhancements are burning through her mortal body at an alarming rate. Of course the leader of the AIs, an ancient and compelling artificial intelligence named Talis, has a plan.