Teocinte is where you go when no one else will have you. Populated by thieves, misfits and other ne'er-do-wells, the town has come to be a ramshackle coterie of hovels and humanity. It's center is Liar's House, an inn for all who may care to visit.
Shepard gives us the story of Hota, who has fled his past to become Teocinte's wealthiest citizen, and the bronze-skinned Magali, who he unexpectedly encounters while following after a beast he has spotted. In the background is our third main player, the dragon Griaule. Destiny entwines each, and cannot be escaped.
Lucius Shepard writes as if he were relating his tale around a campfire. The language is evocative and true, drawing you into the story. The novella is perfect for Shepard, as he says only what is neccesary.
"He suspected she was dissembling and knew she did not like being pressed; but he had the itch to press her. She rarely spoke of her life prior to their meeting and, though he was not convinced that she was who she claimed to be, he wanted to believe her....He wanted her to be a fabulous creature, for him to be part of her fabulous design..."