Only the extraordinary are chosen.
Only the cunning survive.
An explosive return to the library leaves the six Alexandrians vulnerable to the lethal terms of their recruitment.
Old alliances quickly fracture as the initiates take opposing strategies as to how to deal with the deadly bargain they have so far failed to uphold. Those who remain with the archives wrestle with the ethics of their astronomical abilities, while elsewhere, an unlikely pair from the Society cohort partner to influence politics on a global stage.
And still the outside world mobilizes to destroy them, while the Caretaker himself, Atlas Blakely, may yet succeed with a plan foreseen to have world-ending stakes. It’s a race to survive as the six Society recruits are faced with the question of what they’re willing to betray for limitless power—and who will be destroyed along the way.
About the characters
Tristan Caine’s true specialty is physical; in addition to seeing through illusions, Tristan is a quantum physicist, meaning he can alter physical components on a quantum level.
Per the Alexandrian Society elimination terms, Tristan was tasked with killing Callum Nova. For reasons ostensibly related to his conscience, Tristan did not succeed. Whether this decision will come back to haunt him remains to be seen.
Nicolás Ferrer de Varona, commonly called Nico, was born in Havana, Cuba, and sent to the United States by his wealthy parents at an early age, where he would later graduate from the prestigious New York University of Magical Arts. Nico is uncommonly gifted as a physicist and possesses several capabilities outside his specialty (See also: lithospheric proclivities; seismology—tectonics; shifting—human to animal; alchemy; draughts—alchemical). Nico has a close friendship with fellow NYUMA graduates Gideon Drake and Maximilian Wolfe, and, despite a longstanding antagonism, an alliance with Elizabeth “Libby” Rhodes. Nico excels at hand-to-hand combat and is known to have died at least once.
Callum Nova is a billionaire manipulist whose powers extend to the metaphysical: that is, in layman’s terms, an empath. Born in Cape Town, Callum studied very comfortably at the Hellenistic University in Athens before joining the family business in the profitable sale of medeian beauty products and illusions. Only one person on earth knows for sure what Callum actually looks like.
Elizabeth “Libby” Rhodes is a gifted physicist. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, Libby’s early life was marked by the prolonged illness and eventual death of her older sister, Katherine. Libby attended the New York University of Magical Arts, where she met her rival-turned-ally Nicolás “Nico” de Varona and her erstwhile boyfriend, Ezra Fowler. As a Society recruit, Libby conducted several notable experiments before disappearing, initially presumed by the remainder of her cohort to be deceased (Ezra Fowler). After discovering she had been deposited in the year 1989, Libby chose to harness the energy of a nuclear weapon to create a wormhole through time.
“Rhodes,” Nico attempted instead, since it seemed important to mention whether he’d live it down or not. “I did miss you, you know.”
“Rhodes,” he said in a rasp, “I need you to tell me why you came back to me.”
“Tristan.” A sigh. “I want . . .”
“I know what you want. That’s not what I asked.”
“Rhodes,” he whispered, so close he could taste her, temptation burning idly on his tongue. “Just say it.”
“I wanted you,” she murmured.
Excruciating, the waiting. “Because?”
“Because you know me. Because you see me.” The words were rough, hard-won, the gasp that followed heavy with significance, with promises unfulfilled. “And because I . . .”
“He tugged her chin up, fingers coiling tightly in her hair. “Yes?”
Her eyes searched his, hazy with something. “Because—” She broke off, spellbound, lost. “Fuck, Tristan, I—”
“I will spend my life orbiting yours,” Nico said, and the exhaustion in his voice, she knew it. She understood it. “I consider it a privilege. Does that mean less if we never sleep together? If we never have babies and hold hands, does that have to mean less? You’re in every world I exist in, your fate is my fate, either you follow me or I follow you, it doesn’t matter which and I don’t care. If that’s not love then maybe I don’t understand love, and that’s fine with me—it doesn’t make me angry to know I’m actually an idiot after all. And if it’s not enough for you, then okay, it’s not enough. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m willing to give it. What you’re willing to accept doesn’t change what I’m willing to give.”