They say there are no new stories, but there is such a thing as hearing an old story for the first time. The following contain minor spoilers for the prior volumes. Proceed at your own risk.
Judge Gestalt returns home to the capital with the Apotheosis Break, his duty fulfilled but the crimes unsolved. The airship’s crew doesn’t share in his disappointment, though. Vasili, the waiter-turned-deckhand, and the rest are elated to finally have a prized shard in their hands. They might just come out ahead on this run.
Consequences await them when they step into the Shard Ministry. Their pay is docked for their failure in Schultzwald. The Guild won’t help, as the job wasn’t sanctioned by them. The captain, now saddled with debt from a series of busts, receives an ultimatum: Bring in this next one or lose your ship.
The job is a gala, the social event of the season, where the Empire’s rich and powerful jockey for leverage. The shard hangs around a marriageable young noblewoman’s neck, an affront to the Empire and a show of wealth for suitors. The crew of the Break has to get in, find her, and escape with the score, all under the suspicious eyes of nobles, judges, the royal guard.
It’s their last chance. Everyone rehearses their role. Terrified and excited, Vasili prepares for his first real heist. But those behind Judge Gestalt’s conspiracy are still at large. They know of the boy, and of his father, and what makes them special. They have plans for him. In fact, they are hosting the gala just so they can meet this gifted young man.
Vasili will learn that he is the unwilling protagonist in a tale that began thousands of years ago. A saga that tells of truth and its requisite sacrifice, and ends with a world of ruin. That is, unless the boy discovers his father’s legacy, and finishes what his father started.