From publisher blurb:
In his youth, Siméon d’Hivers discovered that a quick, glib tongue and an ability to negotiate spared him from the local ruffians and ingratiated him with those in authority. While he picked up a number of skills the gendarmerie would not have approved of, he was charming, and quick, and knew a few things about those in power that gave him a bit of leverage in case of emergency. He moved up quickly, negotiating minor deals, taking care of small affairs, making introductions to the right people for a modest fee, the sort of work that nearly everyone who has to deal with an imperial government sooner or later needs.
The French government’s move to Versailles in 1870, after the communards seized Paris, gave Siméon his greatest opportunity yet. The decision just recently to move back to Paris presented another considerable opportunity, but then of course the Fall interrupted that. Siméon has been terrifically busy these days, what with revisions of relocation plans, getting departments moved back to Versailles, some of which were on the road halfway between cities when the hellpits erupted, and then there’s all the personal fallout, leases to be renegotiated as the tenants suddenly needed to stay instead of leave.
Who knows what opportunities tomorrow might bring? Magic returns, people change, Paris explodes, but there’s always a deal to be made, an introduction required, and a small fee for the trouble.