Following a devastating betrayal, Beth Bradley, a sixteen-year-old graffiti artist, is suspended from school. Running from a home that she shares with her father who has never recovered after Beth's mother's death, Beth stumbles into the hidden city and meets Filius Viae, London's asphalt-hued crown prince. And her timing couldn't have been more perfect.
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Pen's life is about secrets: the secret of the city's spirits, deities and monsters, living just beyond the notice of modern Londoners; the secret of Pen's intricate scars that disfigure her so cruelly; and the most closely guarded secret of all: Parva, her mirror-sister, forged from her reflections in a school bathroom mirror.
Ever since Beth Bradley found her way into a hidden London, the presence of its ruthless goddess, Mater Viae, has lurked in the background. Now Mater Viae has returned with deadly consequences. Streets are wracked by convulsions as muscles of wire and pipe go into spasm, bunching the city into a crippled new geography; pavements flare to thousand-degree fevers, incinerating pedestrians; and towers fall, their foundations decayed. As the city sickens, so does Beth - her essence now part of this secret London.