The mansion on Balard Square stands empty. Dirt grimes its marble columns. Cracks mar its once pristine walls. No one enters or exits.
Rumor says no one lives there. Neighbors ignore the property, glad it's merely shabby, not derelict. Brash youths pretend a witch makes it her home, a wicked witch who hates children.
All of them-rumor, neighbors, and youths-are wrong.
Fleeing a ragged horde of boys, young Lealle discovers the truth of the history-haunted house.
She hopes to keep that truth secret.
But her silence threatens disapproving neighbors, trespassing bullies, and one gentle soul in desperate need of a lifeline.
Magic and coming of age in the tradition of Patricia C. Wrede's Mairelon the Magician.