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Three Mages and a Margarita
The Guild Codex: Spellbound Series, Book 1
Spieldauer: 7 Std. und 14 Min.
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig. It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview - to see if I'd mesh with their "special" clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That's the definition of fitting in, right? I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they...offered me the job?
I thought I understood power. My parents taught me that magic attracts equal danger, and everything I've seen since becoming a demon contractor confirms it. I've witnessed how power twists and corrupts - and I've tasted power no human should wield. I thought I knew greed. Ambition and avarice drove my family into hiding. My parents died for someone else's greed. I've never hunted anything in my life, but now I'm hunting their killer - with my demon's help. I thought I'd seen evil. But with each step closer to my parents' murderer, I'm uncovering a different sort of evil.
I've said it before, but sometimes I'm a bad person. I cheated on my 12th-grade math final, I've run countless yellow lights, and I gossip about how hot my kickass best friends are. (Good thing my job as a guild bartender doesn't require moral perfection.) But there's bad, and then there's bad. And I'm not sure which applies to a certain dark druid/wanted criminal/reluctant friend of mine. His transgressions include black-magic dealings, kidnapping, and murder, and he's about to add "revenge-fueled killing spree" to his resume - if I don't stop him. Should I stop him?
When I arrived at my uncle's house, I expected my relatives to be like me - outcast sorcerers who don't practice magic. I was right about the sorcery, but wrong about everything else. Rule two: Don't listen to the demon. My uncle chose a far deadlier power. He calls creatures of darkness into our world, binds them into service contracts, and sells them to the highest bidder. And I'm supposed to act like I don't know how illegal and dangerous it is. Rule three: Don't talk to the demon. All I had to do was keep my nose out of it.
Leda Pierce is working as a paranormal bounty hunter on the Frontier, the dividing line between human civilization and the plains of monsters. Life is simple until a vampire hunt goes wrong and her brother goes missing, captured by the dark angels of hell. With no magical powers of her own and no way to find him, Leda's only option is to go to New York and join the Legion of Angels. If she can survive long enough to make it up the ranks, she will gain the magic she needs to find her brother.
When I found myself facing down the scariest black-magic felon in the city, practically daring him to abduct me, I had to wonder exactly how I ended up here. It all started when I accidentally landed a job as a bartender - but not at a bar. At a guild, populated by mages, sorcerers, alchemists, witches, and psychics. Good thing this lame-o human is adaptable, right? Then my favorite guild members - three sexy, powerful, and intermittently charming mages - asked for my help. Did they want access to my encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails? Oh no.
The original Immortals, masters of magic, once reigned over every world in the known universe - until they suddenly vanished. The gods and demons have been fighting over the remains of their fractured empire ever since. Millennia later, new angel Leda, a soldier in the gods' army, is recuperating from her transformation. Her recovery is cut short, however, when a curse strikes New York City, a spell targeted directly at the Legion of Angels. Even as the Legion's soldiers succumb to wrath, jealousy, and fear, the beasts on the plains of monsters are growing in numbers and power.
When I first landed a bartending job at the local guild, I didn't know a thing about magic. These days, I'm practically an expert on the different magical classes, but there's one nobody ever talks about: Demonica. Turns out they have a good reason for that. My guild is strictly hellion-free, because who wants to risk life and limb to control the biggest bullies on the mythic playground? Well, some people do, and now a demon has been loosed in the city. My three best friends are determined to slay it, but even badass combat mages are critically out-magicked.
As a guild bartender, I can handle pretty much anything - mages, sorcerers, witches, the occasional demon. But show me anything family-related and I'd rather run for the hills. It doesn't even have to be my family. So I have no idea why I thought spending the holidays with Aaron's mom and pop was a good idea. Meeting his famous parents is already terrifying enough, but I've got a bigger problem. Students of his family's renowned mage academy are being attacked on the grounds - and somehow no one has seen a single assailant?
The games of gods play out upon the backbones of mortals. Leda Pierce has come a long way since she left her home on the frontier of civilization one year ago to join the Legion of Angels. She is a soldier in the gods' army, has crossed swords with demons, and shares an apartment with her angel lover in New York. Every day brings Leda closer to becoming an angel herself - until a promotion ceremony goes horribly wrong, leaving her powers in magical limbo. Worse yet, the gods have taken over her training at Crystal Falls.
I'm bound to a demon. For my entire life, I avoided magic at all costs. Now, I'm responsible for a demon who wields magic more powerful than the toughest mage or sorcerer. Demons are evil. That's what my textbooks say. That's what I see. He's ruthless, he's temperamental, he's cold. But he protects me without fail. I wonder if he's hiding a heart behind his hostility. My demon is a monster.
Leda Pierce's latest mission brings her back to her hometown at the edge of the Frontier. But things have taken a turn for the worse in the six months since she left home to join the Legion of Angels in New York City. Crime lords now rule over the town, and the beasts' numbers are exploding just beyond the great magic wall that separates humanity from the plains of monsters. Together, with the fiercely seductive angel Nero, Leda guides a group of pilgrims across the monster-infested expanse to the ruins of the final battle between gods and demons.
Three months ago, I landed a job as a bartender. But not at a bar-at a guild. Yeah, the magic kind. I'm not a badass mage like my three smokin' hot best friends. I'm not a sorcerer or an alchemist, or even a wussy witch. I'm just a human, slinging drinks like a pro and keeping my non-magical nose out of mythic business. Seriously, I know my limits. So why am I currently standing in a black-magic ritual circle across from a fae lord? Somewhere behind me, my three mage friends are battling for their lives.
As the owner of Miracle Books, Nora Pennington figures all the wet weather this spring is at least good for business. The local inns are packed with stranded travelers. Since a little rain never hurt anyone, Nora rides her bike over to the flea market one sodden day and buys a bowl from Danny, a Cherokee potter. But the next day, a little rain turns into a lot of rain, and the Miracle River overflows its banks. Amid the wreckage of a collapsed footbridge, a body lies within the churning water. Nora and the sheriff both doubt the ruling of accidental drowning.
One year after joining the Legion of Angels in New York City, Leda Pierce returns home to visit her family in Purgatory, a rough and rugged frontier town that borders the plains of monsters. Leda's family reunion is cut short, however, when her little sisters are captured by supernatural mercenaries. Together with her angel lover Nero, she sets out to save them. Besieged by monsters, assailed by powerful foes, Leda knows this rescue mission won't be easy.
Leda Pierce has survived the gods' first test and gained entry into the Legion of Angels, but the fight is far from over. Someone is poisoning the supernaturals of New York. Suspecting witches, the Legion sends in Leda to investigate. To save the city, she will need magic she doesn't have - and gaining that magic might just kill her. Now her survival depends on accepting help from the darkly seductive angel Nero, but that help comes with a price she cannot afford to pay.
Tested by the gods, Leda and her angelic mate Nero venture into the City of Ashes, a fallen fortress in the Western Wilderness where nightmarish monsters reign supreme and an ancient secret is buried. To survive the Gods' Trials, they will have to save the city - and they will have to do it without their magic. Their victory, however, comes at a heavy price. And the secret they uncover will upset the balance of power between Earth and heaven.
Nora Pennington, the owner of Miracle Books, believes that a well-chosen novel can bring healing and hope. But she and the rest of the members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society know that, sometimes, practical help is needed, too. Such is the case with the reed-thin girl hiding in the fiction section of Nora's store, wearing a hospital ID and a patchwork of faded bruises. She calls herself Abilene, and, although Nora and her friends offer work, shelter, and a supportive ear, their guest isn't ready to divulge her secrets.
Modern medicine has conquered or contained many of the diseases that used to carry children away before their time, reducing mortality and improving health. Vaccination and treatment are widely available. There are still monsters left to fight, but the old ones, the simple ones, trouble us no more. Or so we thought. For with the reduction in danger comes the erosion of memory, as pandemics fade from memory into story into fairy tale. Those old diseases can't have been so bad, people say, or we wouldn't be here to talk about them. They're never coming back.... It begins with a fever.
When a female Shifter comes to town seeking refuge, Feline Shifter Sean Morrissey claims the new arrival and finds a beautiful woman who looks him straight in the eye without fear, stirring the mating frenzy within him. To relocate to a new Shiftertown, half-Fae, half-Shifter Andrea Gray must accept a new mate. But Andrea's intense attraction to Sean is something shen ever expected - a perilous complication for a woman with a troubled past.