Citizens of Kavet generally give little thought to the afterlife - unsurprising, since the dominant religion of the country believes too much focus on the next world is directly responsible for strife in this one, and everyone knows idle curiosity about the other realms is the first step on a dangerous road to sorcery and madness.
The only people allowed by law to even discuss such topics are the Order of the Napthol, a group of scholars responsible for giving counsel and advice when questions regarding the next world arise. They are the ones who study the three realms: the mortal one in which human beings live and die, and the two that follow, the Abyss and the Numen. Anyone outside their order is strictly forbidden from even discussing the other realms.
Hansa Viridian is a respected captain in the elite guard unit tasked with protecting the population of Kavet from sorcery. When he arrests an abyssumancer, a sorcerer whose power comes from the infernal realm known as the Abyss, the man attempts to explain that the creatures of that realm have some kind of plan.
The prisoner doesn’t get far before his own magic kills him, and Hansa’s attempts to investigate the supposed plot don’t get far. According to Sister of the Napthol Cadmia Paynes, the denizens of the abyss are creatures of violence and immediacy, incapable of planning. Everything she has ever been taught tells Cadmia she is right, but despite her assurances to Hansa and the others of his unit, she worries she has made a dreadful mistake.
When the next report of sorcery implicates Hansa’s neighbor and friend Xaz, it triggers a series of events that force unlikely allies to question everything they’ve ever known about magic, morality, love, and even death itself.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. Other books in the Den of Shadows series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror and Midnight Predator (all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults). She has also published the five-volume series The Kiesha'ra: Hawksong (a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List Selection), Snakecharm, Falcondance, Wolfcry and Wyvernhail.