Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 28th 2017
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The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.
Her life might well be over.
In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.
As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.
(pic of Anna that Rosalyn drew)
What’s your favorite thing to do?
Anything that gets me out of doors. I love riding and know most of the birds on our estate on sight.
But I have a particular fondness for dancing. I would dance all night, if I could—and rise early the next morning to gallop in the park.
Do you have a favorite author?
Oh, I like anything particularly torrid and gothic. Byron’s poetry is marvelous. My brother just sent me a copy of Currer Bell’s new Jane Eyre and it is everything I adore: dark, scandalous, romantic.
What five things do you carry in your purse?
A purse? Ah, you mean my reticule! Goodness, I’m not certain I could fit five things in my reticule. Let’s see . . . Some coins, a clean handkerchief, a needle and thread, a bit of rice paper to blot my nose and forehead. Mama always carries smelling salts in hers, but I prefer a bit of candy.
Have you ever failed at anything?
I fail constantly. It’s one of my worst qualities, according to my mother. I was born into a society that defines itself by its magic—and I cannot cast even the most minor of spells.
But I refuse to be defined by my failures.
What are you particularly good at?
Being froward. My obstinacy has seen me through many a difficult situation. (It does have its drawbacks, though, so I cannot say I recommend it as a life-strategy).
What are you afraid of?
This question! I cannot imagine readers want anything so serious.
But if you must know, I am afraid of a quiet life—of reaching the end and discovering that nothing I had done would survive me. I want to matter.
Who was your first love?
I kissed a stable boy when I was fourteen. I would likely have kept kissing him, save my mother found out.
My first real love was Lord Markham Worthing, better known as Freddy. (But I believe that story is being told elsewhere, so I won’t spoil it).
*~~About the Author~~*