Author: Mercedes Lackey
For seventeen years, Marina Roeswood had lived in the care of close friends of her wealthy, aristocratic parents. As the ward of bohemian artists in turn-of-the-century England, she had grown to be a free thinker in an environment of fertile creativity and cultural sophistication. But the real core of her education was far outside societal norms. For she and her foster parents were Elemental Masters of magic, and learning to control her growing powers was Marina’s primary focus.
But though Marina’s life seemed idyllic, her existence was riddled with mysteries. Why had she never seen her parents, or been to Oakhurst, her family’s ancestral manor? And why hadn’t her real parents trained her themselves? Marina could get no clues out of her guardians. But with the sudden death of her birth parents, Marina met her new guardian—her father’s eldest sister Arachne. Aunt Arachne exuded a dark magical aura unlike anything Marina had encountered, a stifling evil that seemed to threaten Marina’s very spirit. Slowly Marina realized that her aunt was the embodiment of the danger her parents had been hiding her from in the depths of the country. But could Marina unravel the secrets of her life in time to save herself?