Arlo Rook has decided it’s time to move out of Garren Castle, home for orphans of all races, magical or not, at 100 years old.
It’s not the first time he’s left home, but after a setback that landed the Hedge Witch in the hospital a year ago, he ended up right back at square one. But now he’s ready to strike out on his own, despite his friend’s worries that he’s not ready for the ‘real world.’
Then, he crashes into a mess of copper curls and bright eyes, sending apothecary goods and his life into a chaotic mess. Thatch is a mysterious and incredibly wealthy benefactor of Levena, only spoken of but never seen. He requests a night of Arlo’s company and a tour of the city, which Arlo immediately declines.
But that’s not the last time they see each other, and it certainly wasn’t the first. Arlo doesn’t remember him, no one remembers Thatch after he visits, but Thatch never forgot the Witch with a familiar mark on his face.
Thatch Phantom is an immortal, the last of his kind and perpetually bored. When he’s not closing inter-dimensional rifts and corralling demons, he’s visiting his favorite city of all, Levena. Centuries ago, when life was particularly dull, he set up a scavenger hunt for a starving village, providing them with a year’s worth of supplies.
He anonymously returned year after year, upping the ante and providing less practical things, as the village had become a city and was wealthy beyond belief. Festivals were thrown in his honor, and have continued every year since. Hundreds of years later, The Game is still put on by the fabled ‘Scarlet Illusionist’, but no one has figured out who blesses them with the puzzles.
Once again, Thatch is listless and has decided to throw a wild card into this year’s Game. Whoever discovers him will win one wish of their choice, no restrictions. Aside from the obvious, such as no falling in love, murder or resurrection.
What he didn’t anticipate was crashing into the one person whose soul mark flares like a beacon when Thatch is around, teasing the immortal with the one thing he wants most.
Someone to call home.
What follows is a wild chain of events filled with magical coffee shops, villains with vendettas against cheese makers, moving tattoos, grand puzzles, and second chances at love, and life.
Thank you to my artist and friend, Henni Eklund, for bringing to life these two chaotic disasters, along with everything else you do for me. Arlo and Thatch are just as I imagined them and I cannot wait for you to all to experience the joy that is grumpy witches and sunshine immortals.
If you’re interested, I currently have ARC signups up until September. You can find it at the top of my linktree.