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Master conjurer Grey Carteret regains consciousness in a London gutter next to a concerned street urchin and not far from the body of a man murdered by magic. Some fool is hoping to use murder to raise a demon. Arrested for the crime, Grey must rely on the street urchin for help. But the lad turns out to be a comely lass, and she wants something in exchange.
Pearl Parkin, a gently reared lady struggling to survive in London’s slums, sees magic as a way out of the life she finds herself trapped in. But blackmailing Grey into making her his apprentice has unexpected consequences. As they plunge into the hunt for the murderer, Pearl discovers that the things she once desperately wanted are not as important after all, and that she must risk her blood, her heart and her very life to grasp the love she needs.
In 1636, the last blood sorceress was burned at the stake. More than two hundred years later, her blood servant Jax has found her successor. Amanusa at first turns down the opportunity to learn what she perceives as an evil art, but she craves justice.
When Amanusa looses magic on those who've harmed her, she must flee for her life across a devastated Europe with Jax, who is inescapably bound to her by blood and magic. Their journey takes them through zones where everything--including magic--has died. Zones populated with strange creatures cobbled together from things left behind by the dead.
Needing each other for their very survival, Amanusa and Jax grow ever closer on their journey to discover answers--about magic, blood sorcery, the dead zones, and even love.