Publisher: Puffin

Juniper Bell, relic thief, has lived in the Dregs of the city of Arkspire all her life. The five Arcanists who protect the city from the threat of the Betrayers are the only ones with magic. Juniper and her best friend Thea hustle and trick to make a living, to help Juni’s dad and her annoying sister, who’s training to be an Arcanist Candidate.

When a mysterious stolen relic explodes, Juniper finds herself bonded to a strange shadowy creature, and with magical sigils all over her skin. Suddenly, she’s a threat to the magical establishment but also a source of hope to her fellow Dreggers. Assigned a do-gooder Candidate to spy on her, Juniper must work out how to avoid being put in jail for impersonating an Arcanist. The only problem is, the very grumpy shadowy creature, Cinder, doesn’t want to help her use his magic. She and Thea – master tricksters – need a plan, and fast…

Brilliantly illustrated by the author throughout, this is a fun, fast-paced adventure about truth, loyalty and being true to yourself. There is wonderful world-building detail in the text and the illustrations. Readers will be rooting for the brave, cheery Dreggers. Great fun. 

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