When hard-bitten professional “ratcatcher” Caren Navarrete accepts the job of hunting down Lex, the mysterious ganglord who ritually slaughtered eleven Martial Magi in Philadelphia on the night of the winter solstice, it’s much more than just another bounty. Lex’s twelfth victim, for reasons unknown, was Caren’s childhood friend and former love, Luke Langit—so this one’s personal.
Caren teams up with Ashton Grenville, an aristocratic teen-prodigy alchemist who is, in his own words, “a walking crime lab,” and together the pair scour the Philly magic underworld for clues that could unravel the mystery and lead them to Lex. They soon find themselves in a dangerous alliance with the refined-yet-ruthless Meillassoux’s Boys, a rival gang equally intent on bringing Lex down. Meanwhile, Ash follows a trail of breadcrumbs left for him by the mysterious and beautiful “Valentine,” a colorful queer YouTuber who seems to share Ash’s interest in seeking out the forbidden Elixir of Life.
Caren and Ash’s investigation eventually unearths a web of corruption that winds all the way through the heart of one of the world’s most venerable magic institutions, along with an ancient plot to incite the apocalypse—a doomed timeline that was set in motion over three hundred years ago. The key to the transformation of the world lies with Caren’s own hidden past—with a lost half-sister, and a mythic power passed down from her precolonial Filipino ancestors—as well as Valentine’s dark and painful secret, which Ash hopes he can uncover before it’s too late.
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(PLEASE NOTE: What you’ll find here is the exact same novel we’ve posted to the web fiction sites linked above. It’s just organized into the original, longer chapter lengths here, so that there are fewer total episodes listed.)