I'm looking to find the name of a book I read quite a while ago. It seemed to be part of a series because I seem to remember it ending on a cliffhanger.

I really can't remember much about it other than some odd specifics but here goes nothing.

It was set in a more modern time period and a female protagonist who was a witch/mage/wizard. She had an apprentice that she took around to other magic users to acquire various skills. The one that I remember is another female wizard that kissed him to teach him how to not need to breath or breath underwater, highlighted with some quip about "too bad for asphyxiation play".

There was another character who was friends with the lead and was some sort of psychic parasite or something. Towards the end of the story something happens to this parasite and in its panic to survive it latches onto the apprentice and takes over his body.

The female mage becomes incredibly upset and I believe it ends with her seeing what she has to do to get her apprentice back.

Oh and I think she rings some sort of bell at the end to call Death to see if he knew if the apprentice's soul ended up in the afterlife or something to that extent.

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