Bristal, a teenage kitchen maid, never expected to survive being forced into the Water, a pool designed to prove that a mortal may be an elicromancer, an ancient breed of ageless and immortal beings that once populated the realm of Nissera. But she does.
With elicrin stone in hand, Bristal is thrust from the Water, proving her birthright as an elicromancer. With Bristal’s true identity revealed, the last two remaining elicromancers, Brack and Tamarice, materialize to rescue Bristal from kidnappers. They begin to train her to use her gift as a Clandestine: the ability to transform into any human or animal form. Tamarice soon rejects an elicromancer’s duty to keep the peace among nations by cursing Volarre’s Princess Rosamund with dark magic in a fate-binding ritual, thereby putting the three kingdoms of Nissera in danger. Now enemies, Bristal must summon all that she has learned and don disguises to unite the kingdoms in defeating Tamarice. Greatly influenced by the likes of “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Hua Mulan,” and arguably Harry Potter, debut author West mixes fairy-tale charm with contemporary mysticism to create a world both terrifying and wonderful. Bristal, in her shape-shifting glory, delights in her alter egos as boisterous Catleen and ever loyal Tomlin Happer, who joins the Realm Alliance and meets a prince. Race does not appear to be a factor in Nissera; characters read as white.
Sweet romance and strong supporting characters complete this impressive debut. (Fantasy. 12-17)