At a Boston school brimming with centuries' worth of magical secrets, New England’s buried past rises up to grab the present by the throat.
Fiona Forzese walks the halls of prestigious Mather Academy with a deep yearning for a more exciting life. Her wish is suddenly granted when she meets an intriguing new student named Toby Corvin—who just happens to be a sorcerer. Toby soon introduces Fiona to an astonishing universe of ancient spells, talking ravens, and sinister bone wardens.
When a deadly army from Toby’s strange world descends upon Boston, he and Fiona race desperately to stop the slaughter. In the process, they face unspeakable danger while unearthing New England's darkest secrets.
“Picture a place that looks like Boston.” He looked into Fiona’s eyes, gesturing with his paper cup. “There’s a Common like this. Around it are crowded alleys that wind below people’s windows. At night, the streets are lit with floating lanterns of foxfire.”
They walked west through the darkening Common, past the snow-covered tennis courts. Fiona peered at him over her hot chocolate. This was an unexpected turn.
“In this place, ordinary people can’t read, so there are painted signs on the taverns in blue and red and gold paint. There are symbols of ravens and stars, king’s-heads and fire-breathing dragons.”
“Why can’t people read?”
“Well, the wealthy can read. In Maremount, the aristocrats practice magic, but for everyone else it’s illegal. There are a few secret covens for poor people, but the King wants them disbanded.”
Fiona wrinkled her forehead, glancing over at him. “This place is called Maremount?”
“Right. It’s just imaginary.”
They now stood at the edge of the park, as cars inched forward in gridlock along the icy street.
“You see these streets?” He looked down at the slushy pavement. “They were filled in with land from the nearby hills. In my story, these streets remain a bay, full of cod and lobster. There’s water all around. There are crabs here, and sometimes at night there are flickering sparks on the waves. Those are the Nippexies—the water spirits. They’re still here underground, I think.”
“Maremount sounds lovely.”
He kicked at an icy chunk of snow. “Well, except for the civil war.”
He adjusted her scarf on his neck. “Just part of the story.”
“Boston’s not as beautiful as the place in your story, but there’s the garden in the summer, and you can see fish in the aquarium.”
“They’ve got a tank that you can walk under. You can see the fish from underneath. It’s beautiful.”
“That sounds nice.”
“We should go with Mariana. She knows all the fish names.”
“We should get back now, right?” He gazed at her with a hint of a smile. “I guess my story didn’t really go anywhere. But it was nice to talk to someone.”
“I guess we should get back.” By now she could picture the sparkling bay he’d described and was loath to leave it for her dreary room.
Toby started to walk toward the school, and she followed, glancing back at where the water spirits might be. She usually hated this time of year, when the trees looked like skeletons and her feet were always cold. But their stroll after curfew had refreshed her, and Celia’s proposed adventure started to seem more appealing.
Together they work to incorporate real historical events and figures into contemporary urban fantasy novels.