I'm Liv Cartwright, mage, thief, and unapologetic nerd.
Magically talented people like me have two choices: use our powers at the beck and call of the Order of the Elements or be exiled to the realm of monsters. Sounds like an easy choice, right? Not so much. Since my mentor dabbled in forbidden spirit magic and left me to take the fall, I have to pay off his debts without using my magic.
I'd rather spend my free time gaming than retrieving valuable objects for the Order, but my latest retrieval job goes from mundane to deadly when I end up on the wrong side of the terrifying King of the Dead. Turns out he doesn’t like thieves, and he likes the Order even less. To make things worse, I run into my ex-boyfriend, a fire mage who's carrying as many secrets as I am, and find my simple thieving job has landed me in the middle of a conspiracy. A second elemental war is brewing, and the key to stopping it lies in my long-buried memories of my mentor's lessons.
The catch? If the Order finds out, they'll show me no mercy this time -- and everyone knows there's a good reason spirit magic was banned. People who use it tend to end up dead.
I never imagined I'd end up making a deal with the King of the Dead to save my own neck, but this is what my life has come to.
The good news is that I wasn't arrested by the Order of the Elements for using spirit magic. The bad news is that I still don't remember my lessons. And if people keep trying to kill me, I'm going to need those skills.
When the Death King hires me to investigate a spate of mysterious killings, I'm inclined to say no. The Order has me running around chasing enough magical criminals as it is, and Brant, the fire mage I'm dating, is less than thrilled at the idea of playing nice with the Death King. But when the killings are revealed to be linked to the spirit mages, I have no choice but to get involved if I want to keep my newly reawakened talents hidden from the world at large.
As if hunting a killer wasn't enough, the vampires are up to no good, my sidekick has run away, and at this rate, I'll end up missing gaming night.Again.
After a major betrayal shook up my life, I'm attempting to lie low. Naturally, that's when the King of the Dead decides to show up on my doorstep again.
Seems His Deathly Highness needs a new Elemental Soldier, and he wants to hire me as his security guard to stop anyone from sabotaging the contest. Since the Order has been ghosting me ever since I accidentally blew up a vampire's house, I could use the cash -- even if it involves dealing with hot-tempered fire mages.
Problem is, everyone in the Court of the Dead has their own agenda. And with an upcoming school reunion threatening to drag up dangerous memories of my lessons in spirit magic, I find myself at a crossroads in my life, in more ways than one.
In the Parallel, not everything stays buried for long, and if I'm not careful, the Court of the Dead's many secrets will spell my own end.