The world as we know it ended 209 years ago. From a desert wasteland springs a single kingdom, ruled by a tyrannical King and trapped in an endless war against the shadowy desert warriors. As a desperate bid to save what remains of humanity, society has been split into two distinct classes, nicknamed the Court and the Commons. For an oppressed population on the brink of revolution, a common thief could be the last hope. Up until now, Kay has survived by her wits alone. Reckless and impulsive, wanted by the King's guard, Kay has become known as the Runner. Using the city's rooftops as her personal domain, she manages to keep one step ahead of the King with one hand buried in the purses of the courtiers. Driven by the plight of the commoners and the unjust death of her family, Kay seizes the chance to graduate from small-time thievery to full-scale rebellion. Her opportunity comes in the form of Will, a wealthy ex-soldier with a dark past. Plucked from the streets and thrown into the shimmering palace court, Kay must use her every strength to blend into a world where she doesn't belong, closer to the enemy than she ever thought she would be.