If no one notices Marya Lupu, it's likely because of her brother, Luka, who everyone knows is destined to become a sorcerer. The Lupus might be from a small village far from the capital city of Illyria, but every young boy born in in the kingdom holds the potential for the rare ability to wield magic, to protect the country from the terrifying force known only as the Dread. For all the hopes the family has for Luka, no one has any for Marya, who can never seem to do anything right.
But even so, no one is prepared for the day that the sorcerers finally arrive to test Luka for magical ability, and Marya makes a terrible mistake. Nor the day after, when the Lupus receive a letter from a place called Dragomir Academy — a mysterious school for wayward young girls like Marya. Soon she is a hundred miles from home, in a strange and unfamiliar place, surrounded by girls she’s never met.
Dragomir Academy promises the girls a chance to make something of themselves in service to one of the country’s powerful sorcerers. But as they learn how to fit into a world with no place for them, they begin to discover things about the magic the men of their country wield, as well as the Dread itself — things that threaten the precarious balance upon which Illyria is built. From the acclaimed author of The Lost Girl comes a wondrous and provocative fantasy about a kingdom beset by monsters, a mysterious school, and a girl caught in between them.
"Through Ursu’s hallmark thoughtful and inspiring writing, readers delve into a story that seamlessly combines intriguing worldbuilding that is full of magic with a feminist perspective that interrogates the systemic oppression at society’s core. Marya’s developing relationships with her classmates as well as with her brother form the beating heart of the book. But it’s Marya’s inner conflict as she asks the question, 'Who does the story serve?' and considers what she has always been told about herself that elevates this tale into unmissable territory, with its remarkably raw and honest look at the emotional and psychological consequences of living under patriarchal ideology." — Kirkus Reviews
|Recommended Age||10 - 13|
|Publication Date||Oct 12, 2021|
|Publisher||Walden Pond Press|