Sorcha is a deacon, with the ability of an Active in the Order, who are to protect the people against attacks and riots of geists. Geists are a ghost type enemy from the Otherside which possess people to attack others. Vermillion is to be one of the safest cities against geists as it's surrounded by water and geists can't cross water. But geists still find a way here... Every Active is paired with a Sensitive to create a great working team with their own special powers to defeat the different geists. Sorcha is paired with Kolya, her husband. After a horrible attack on Kolya, Sorcha realizes she observed some new actions of the geist. The Arch Abbot calls on Sorcha after using the rune only to be used in extreme dire need, to talk with her. But Arch Abbot tells Sorcha she is going on an important mission in an area with escalated geist activity, with a new Sensitive - Deacon Merrich Chambers - who is fresh out of the academy. Sorcha is not thrilled about breaking in a fresh Sensitive on such a dangerous mission, but takes on the orders. What Sorcha doesn't realize is Merrick has his dark secrets too, both as a Sensitive and personal. But will they both be able to keep their secrets buried from each other through the bond they have as a team? Everything Sorcha believes just might get twisted and she might have to do what she doesn't want.
I truly enjoyed the journey through this haunting fantasy read. I am one to love world creativity and it's one of many amazingly strong characteristic here. Philippa does a wonderful job of creating a religious style order with the Deacons. Although they may not be of the 'religious' beliefs you may think. They are the ones who fight the geists to protect the world. I enjoyed watching as this world revealed itself through this book; the ruins for Actives then the Sensitives, the history of the world, and the geists. And still wonder on the mysteries of it all yet to come.
The characters are another wonderful strength here. The characters stick to their personalities, but grow in more ways than I had expected, to show other sides I wouldn't have thought to show, making them three dimensional to me. I enjoyed watching all the characters grow in wonderful leaps in this book. And the characters secrets start to unfold.
The story Philippa has to tell here is captivating. There are a few stories with in this book; learning of the characters, the history of the world, and the mystery of what is happening with the changes the geist are showing. Then the mystery of where the corruption is or coming from.
I would think many who loves Fantasy would enjoy this book along with Urban Fantasy lovers as well. This book touches on a few different genre, but has a depth to it to make you wonder where Philippa will go in the future and how deep does the venality go.