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Bone and Jewel Creatures (edition 2010)
Bone and Jewel Creatures by Elizabeth Bear
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Bijou the Artificer has been a wizard of Messaline for eighty years, building her servants from precious scraps, and now she is ready to rest. But a former apprentice brings her a child poisoned by a sorcerous infection, the first sign that Kaulas the Necromancer--Bijou's old nemesis and love--is unleashing a reeking half-death on the City of Jackals.
(summary from another edition)