Not all kinds of magic were common. Sandry knew that. But what she didn’t know was whether a stitch witch and an untrained dancing mage could combat the most insidious and evil magic of all — the un-magic, the creation of nothingness.

If, if, if. Sometimes life came down to just that, one event piled on another and another, all of them depending on each other. If Sandry’s uncle hadn’t had a heart attack, she wouldn’t have been with him and wouldn’t have helped save his life. If he hadn’t decided to ride to town on that particular morning, just when the fishing fleet was setting out, and if Sandry hadn’t insisted on going with him to make sure he didn’t overdo it, life in that peaceful seaside kingdom would have turned out very differently.

But it had happened. And Sandry knew as well as any mage that the patterns life created must be paid attention to and followed. As soon as she saw Pasco dancing the fish into the net laid out on the beach, she knew he was a dancing mage. He was untaught and untrained and didn’t really want to be a mage. But there was no doubt about his magical powers. There was also no doubt that he needed a teacher, and that it was Sandry’s responsibility to fill that role. She had discovered him, so she must be his teacher. It was a job she wasn’t sure she was qualified for, but she knew it was one she could not refuse.

The process had barely started when a series of grisly murders rocked the town. One of the merchant clans was being slaughtered, one by one. And the magic that the murderers were using was dark and evil. Un-magic, the creation of nothingness, the absence of light, existence. Covered with this magic, the murderers could walk past any guard, commit any crime, and not be caught.

Perhaps this was the real reason for Sandry’s presence — not just to save her uncle, not just to teach Pasco how to use his magic, but also to help the other mages figure out a way to stop the evil mage and the murders.

Also available:

Street Magic

Cold Fire


This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart