A jobless jester and a misguided magpie wander into a land where technology is booming… but trouble is brewing! Dame Elsebet de Whellen has ruled her mildly magical, high-tech country for 50 prosperous years. Now it's facing a crisis three generations in the making, and the bold steps she's taken to save it have gone disastrously off the rails. Naturally she’s going to pray for the help of a brave and selfless hero. Of course it will go wrong. Obviously instead of a hero, she’ll get an exiled jester and his bantering bird. That jester would be Malfred Murd: poet, acrobat, wielder of wit. He’s cynical— twenty years of playing the Fool for an unappreciative wet blanket of a King will do that to a fellow—as well as broke, blacklisted and reduced to eating lizards caught by his self-appointed guardian, a sassy magpie with a longing for adventure. All Fred wanted was a few coins to keep him off the dirt streets. But he gets more, far more. Like it or not, he and Dame Elsebet are about to get hopelessly entangled in a desperate mission that might cost a Fool his life and a people their future.