This story follows the lives of three young independent apprentice women as they struggle to make a living in the big city. Mostly following the story of tailor Velody, she discovers she has hidden magic which makes her a part of an elite cadre of magicians who, using their animal metamorphosis, protect the city from wild magic.
There is a major subplot where one of the women is raped, and it shapes how she interacts with the world and her friends for the rest of the story. It is handled with sensitivity and care.
Velody is a major feminist heroine because she refuses to become a puppet of the male magicians, and continues her career as a tailor alongside her education as a magician and protector. There is also a major romance plot in the story in which she takes control of the affair, refusing to bow to the control of her paramour (who even though he is attracted to her is using her for her abilities).