January, 1721. London is reeling from the effects of the greatest financial scandal of the age - the collapse of the South Sea Bubble. William Spandrel, a penniless mapmaker, is offered a discharge of his debts by Sir Theodore Janssen, a director of the South Sea Company, on one condition: he must secretly convey an important package to Amsterdam.
A Game of Magic Student magician Opal Cowan's newfound ability to steal others' powers makes her too powerful. Trapped under house arrest, Opal dares to defy her imprisonment, searching for Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves.
He seems to represent everything her life is lacking - recklessness, impulse, independence - and may also help her fulfil an unusual obsession: to track down a troupe of Ukrainian dwarfs who have recently escaped a Soviet circus touring Mexico.