Flame in Shadow
When half-human enchanter Maddy Dune unexpectedly wins the All-Arduvulin Spelling Bee she accidentally plunges into the heart of a terrifying conflict no one warned her about.
Now the magical and unpredictable Folk are whispering of prophecy and plotting rebellion. Changelings grown from stolen hair and fingernails are turning up on her doorstep. Undead sorcerers are turning up everywhere.
And Its Royal Tanist, her new best friend and heir to the throne has disappeared.
The Department of Criminal Magic is clueless.
Her adoptive parents are hopeless.
Her only allies are her adoptive brother Rookhaven, a birdlike emissary created by the murderous kylochs of Ghula, and Madame Aubergine, her adoptive father’s fantastically clever clockwork cat.
Maddy has to search for Tan. She has to. But she can’t.
Not until she discovers exactly what the mysterious Spelling Bee trophy is.
Not until she understands what the trophy’s strange magic is doing to her.
Maddy smoothed her skirt. She stood up straight and tried to remember all the rules of etiquette Emma had drilled into her. Maddy knew how to act in polite company now. Even Nadine said so. All she had to do was get through this without getting frightened or angry. Maddy fixed the image of Tan in her mind. She touched Sir Silas’s sleeve. “I’m ready.”
Sir Silas tilted his head and nodded. “I believe you are.” He twisted the door handles and pushed.
—Flame in Shadow, by Patrick O’Sullivan