Magic, driven underground in the 17th century, is trying to return—but will the result be salvation or apocalypse?
After her father dies, Astrid Lethewood is astonished to discover that he was far from the drunken wastrel the town of Indigo Springs, Ore., assumed. In fact, he crafted, of magical objects called “chantments,” a lipstick that gives the wearer glamour, an amulet of persuasion, a kaleidoscope that allows the user to see through solid objects, etc. Dad made the chantments to send to deserving people and thus help magic spread; he told nobody because the witch-finders are still lurking, ready to denounce and burn. The source of the magic is vitagua, a blue fluid that pools beneath Dad’s house. Astrid was his apprentice, so why can’t she remember anything of the lore and techniques he taught her? The arrival of old friend Sahara Knax further complicates matters, as she immediately seizes on the magic and tries to change things and people. Meanwhile, sometime in the future, police negotiator Will Forest interrogates an extremely confused Astrid in a secure underground prison. Sahara, now brimming with magic, has founded a cult dedicated to saving the planet—by any means, including violence and magically transforming living things into monstrosities.
A psychologically astute, highly original debut—complex, eerie and utterly believable. Stay tuned for the projected sequel.