Eleven-year old Ella Durand is a Conjuror. And as the first Conjuror to ever attend the Arcanum Training Institute for Marvellous and Uncanny Endeavours, she's hardly welcomed with open arms. Aspiring marvellers from all over the world study and hone their skills with the hopes of being sorted into one of five paragons: touch, vision, spirit, sound, and taste. Will Ella survive the ordeal?

With positive messages, themes of friendship and belonging, it's an absolute joy of a read. The first of a series, this is a superb magical adventure for a new generation of magic fans. Clayton has created an incredible world, of fewells, conjure-cameos, braid-hands, griotary, starposts and news-boxes.

When Gia Trivelino, Ace of Anarchy, an infamous criminal, escapes from prison, leading to speculation that he did so with a conjuror's help, suspicion of Ella grows even further.

This book is so beautifully written, it's so clever, so imaginative. With magic, secrets, danger, tons of suspense and a diverse cast of characters, it gives magical fantasy a cultural reset and deserves all the plaudits. I was immersed in the world from the first chapter and can't wait for the next instalment!

Author, Dhonielle Clayton

What the Shortlist Committee Say...

"Lovers of magic everywhere will adore this fantasy for a new generation of readers. It's Harry Potter with bells on and you won't ever want to leave"