It’s not easy being a Black mage in the era of Prohibition against the traditional mystic arts. Especially not in the wake of the Great Rust, which swept through the nation in 1927 and wiped out all of the powerful technology fueled by Mechomancy—a newfangled blending of magic and machinery with evil roots in Necromancy, genocide, and Black suffering. Ten years after the Great Rust, America is still struggling to recover as the government tries to restore Mechomantic supremacy and assuage the Blights that still haunt the land.
Laura Ann Langston is a young Black Floramancer from Pennsylvania who came to New York City to chase her humble dream. All she wants is a license to perform spells legally so that she can become a renowned baker with her Floramantic magic, related to plants, food, and life. But all paths to becoming a licensed mage are barred for Black mages, save one: Join the Colored Auxiliary of the Bureau of the Arcane's Conservation Corps, and help drive back the Blights to revitalize Mechomantic power across the country.
Laura’s less than thrilled about the prospect of using her powers to bolster Mechomancy. And the Skylark, the mysterious and powerful head of the Floramancy Division in the Colored Auxiliary, is less than thrilled about the idea of taking inexperienced, naïve Laura on as her apprentice.
But the Conservation Corps' teams of Black mages have been disappearing into the gaping maw of the Ohio Deep Blight, one of the worst Blights in the country. Laura and the Skylark will have no choice but to work together and venture within to investigate the cause. On top of it all, they’re both keeping deadly secrets from one another—secrets that could get them both killed, or worse.
Yet those secrets may hold the key to mending the Blight once and for all.
Check out other Teen Picks of the Month!
Every month the SCCLD Teen Librarians choose one book as a great read from the library's Teen collection. This is the list of the latest picks of the month.