An orphan comes into a fabulous inheritance only to discover that it not only needs defending, but is more a curse than a blessing.
Raised by her enigmatic grandfather, who sells such magical curiosities as strap-on wings, 15-year-old Spindrift knows only that her parents died at sea until a strange customer’s inquiry touches off a chain of astonishing revelations. It seems that the Seven Sages who created the world distilled their essences in the forms of orchids into seven colored crystal balls long ago, and one of them, a black one that can grant certain limited kinds of wishes, has come down in Spindrift’s family. Moreover, after her grandfather reluctantly shares a trove of letters, she learns that her parents had set out to gather the rest but had been betrayed and killed by none other than Roland, the man who had come to the shop. Knowing that Roland already has five of the crystals—and also that they cause far more harm than good—Spindrift sets out both to recover the long-hidden sixth and exact revenge. Trevayne tucks in oblique clues, motif-building references, a neatly disposed-of bully, dark-skinned twins as allies for Spindrift (everyone else in the cast presents as white), a single encounter with an eerie street person, and other elements as if she were checking them off a list.
Lots of tried and true bits capably, if somewhat arbitrarily, assembled. (Fantasy. 11-13)