Illana is a woman sold by her parents to the mysterious Night Guild and suffered tremendously in the previous book. She lost the man she loved, gave birth to his child in secret, and also was traumatized by an assault that even vengeance can't remove the scars of. She has come to hate the Night's Guild and seeks some way to leave it without fearing its vengeance.
After the death of her two remaining friends, Illana decides to make one enormous heist that will be able to buy her freedom and allow her to make a new life for herself, her son, and her son's nursemaid. It will require massive preparations, expensive equipment, and pin point timing. Unfortunately, it is happening right as the Night's Guild is fighting a takeover an even more dangerous and powerful gang.
I love Illana's characterization as she's not entirely likable. It's a bold choice by Andy Peloquin that she is willing to torture and murder an innocent man in order to accomplish her big heist. She's also someone who is fully capable of manipulating someone who genuinely loves her while feeling nothing but disgust for him. It makes the book more interesting that she's probably every bit as bad as a "typical" Night's Guild member and doesn't care anymore.
I liked the supporting cast of the book as well with the majority of the thieves being lovable rogues but all of them having dark sides as well. Illana struggles with her own feelings of camaraderie and the deep burning hatred she feels for the betrayal she feels. The Night Guild didn't help her with her friend's murder or her assault, so it will never be forgiven by her even as that causes her significant distress whenever someone tries to befriend her.
The book is full of action, twists, and turns with the final heist being done amazingly well. I was a big fan of the Thieves Guild quests in both Oblivion as well as Skyrim. This game certainly feels like it manages to capture the fun of both, only exceeding them with excellent characterization. I also appreciate the fact Andy is willing to make Illana bisexual as just another character element, which is not something you see often in fantasy.
In conclusion, amazingly fun book and some of the best "thief" related fantasy you're going to find out there. I'm already reading the third book in the series and hope this continues for some time more. The book is dark, gritty, sexy, and cynical but never passes into the realm of the vulgar. I think this is definitely the book for someone who loves fantasy thieves.