A suspenseful tale of witches, family, and magic from internationally bestselling author Stefan Bachmann. When a thirteen-year-old orphan unexpectedly becomes the mistress of a seemingly abandoned castle, she is thrust into a mysterious plot involving murderous spells, false identity, and a magical battle of wills between the living and the dead. Readers of Kate Milford’s Greenglass House, Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts, and Diana Wynne Jones will be enchanted.
Thirteen-year-old Zita, an orphan and a housemaid, has resigned herself to a life of drudgery when a strange letter arrives, naming her the only living heir to the Brydgeborn fortune. Now the mistress of the castle, Zita soon realizes that there has been foul play in the death of her family. And as she is guided through lessons in the art of witchcraft by a somewhat distant Mrs. Cantanker, Zita begins to wonder who is friend and who is foe.
Stefan Bachmann returns to middle grade fantasy with a tour-de-force that weaves classic and beloved fantasy tropes into a suspenseful and magical murder mystery. Just as in The Peculiar, his international bestseller, Cinders and Sparrows displays limitless imagination and gorgeous prose. Unforgettable and utterly enchanting, this stand-alone tale about family, belonging, and friendship will bewitch readers of Tahereh Mafi’s Whichwood, Katherine Arden’s Small Spaces, and Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle.
Stefan Bachmann is the author of the internationally bestselling novel The Peculiar and its acclaimed sequel, The Whatnot. He was born in Colorado, spent most of his childhood in Switzerland, and is now studying modern music at the Zürich University of the Arts. When he’s not writing, he can be found traveling to someplace chilly, or holed up beneath his college in the dimly lit labyrinth of practice rooms, which may have inspired the subterranean scenes in A Drop of Night. That... and the Paris catacombs, a weird dream about a golden corridor, and a general interest in history.