From riches to rags, Milena is growing up in the city of Prague at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents' once prosperous theater lies in disrepair, and her life seems to be in ruins since the fateful night her father died in a tragic accident and her beautiful, talented mother went missing. Milena has never lost hope that her mother will come back. The day she meets the flamboyant Puppet Master and his menacing twin protégés, Zdenko and Zdenka, under the shadow of Prague's famous Astronomical Clock in the Old Town square, is, coincidentally, the date of her mother's birthday. It's also the day Milena's grandmother chooses to reveal to her the story of her ancestors — and of her legacy. Perhaps it's not such a coincidence? Joanne Owen's debut novel, long-listed for the Carnegie Medal, skillfully mingles the legends of Bohemia in a story rich in the traditions of circus, theater, and magic, all set in a city waiting to lay bare a myriad of secrets.