Practically everyone who goes through Mage Academy wants to become an Arch Mage, the strongest Mages.
But for Zoya, that option was removed from her the instant she realised she was Asexual Aromantic.
You see, magic is the connections you have with others. Care for someone, and you can heal what ails them. Despise someone, and all you can do is lay curses upon them.
Furthermore, strong mutual bonds are essential for the most powerful of magic. The bonds between those in a committed relationship are seen as being the strongest of all. Which is why Arch Mages are required to be in a relationship with another Mage.
She tried once, she’ll never try again.
So when Kyo, her ex, shows up at her door, with an invitation to his Arch Mage ceremony, painful memories flood back.
And when disaster strikes at the ceremony, Zoya decides try and help a world that never tried to help her.