A plucky orphan girl stumbles into a conflict centuries in the making in this thrilling middle grade fantasy about unexpected heroes, the power of friendship, and one boisterous enchanted sword.
Twelve-year-old Lark is determined to escape her squalid life at Miss Starvenger’s boarding house, but she needs to find the coin to do it. Her grand scheme? To steal her fortune from the Royal Museum.
Unfortunately, her heist goes off the rails, and Lark ends up stealing a magical sword right out from under the nose of Prince Jasper, who’s none too happy to have his plans thwarted. Lark soon discovers that the Sword has a mind of its own, and has chosen her to be the next Nightingale, a fabled hero who must vanquish an ancient evil that is waking after centuries of sleep.
Working alone has its limitations, but relying on others after a lifetime of disappointments feels impossible. Still, Lark will need the help of her boarding house roommates if she wants to defeat the villainous forces that threaten to dismantle everything she holds dear.
Deva Fagan writes fantasy and science fiction for kids, teens, and adults. She lives in Maine with her husband and her dog. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, doing geometry, playing video games, hiking, and drinking copious amounts of tea. She is the author of Rival Magic, Fortune’s Folly, The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle, Circus Galacticus, and Nightingale. You can find her online at DevaFagan.com.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (April 20, 2021)
Fagan’s novel is well paced and will hold readers’ attention from the get-go. Lark has gumption and, despite her initial reluctance to assume the role and responsibilities thrust upon her, proves the perfect vessel for sympathetic character growth. Significant inclusion of science fiction and political activism elements complement the action in the book and will serve to appeal to a wide audience. . . . An entertaining, organic, action-packed combination of adventure, science fiction, and fantasy.