Cessaria - or 'Chess' - Putnam is a troubled young witch who hunts down and banishes angry spirits (there aren't any other kind). Her tools are few: magical tattoos that alert her to their presence, an arcane powder or two, grave dirt and her devious imagination. Chess' employer is the only powerful institution left in the world: the Church of Truth. After the dead rose, twenty-three years ago, to slake their thirst for blood, governments and religious institutions fell, and the Church of Truth took their place. They harnessed the supernatural and saved the remaining population. The Church has been training witches ever since.
Chess lost her family during Haunted week and grew up in a succession of abusive childrens' homes and foster families until the Church recognised her talent and took her in. But she's still haunted by those memories, and has developed a 'small' drug problem in order to stifle them; a problem that could see her lose everything if it were uncovered, and one that frequently gets in her way. Not only is she caught between her addiction and Church rules, she is also exploited by her dealers, who see her as their own personal banisher; juggling her commitments has never been more difficult, especially when someone summons a Dream Thief: a dark force so powerful and malevolent that it even frightens the dead.