A Bitter Magic

A deliciously spooky tale of one girl's journey to discover the difference between illusion and real magic.


Everything was in place: the packed theatre, the Amazing Thummel—illusionist extraordinaire—and center stage, the magician's mysterious assistant. Some said she was the most beautiful woman in Europe.

Then, in a swirl of light, she vanishes.

All that remains is her bloodstained scarf—and her feisty daughter, Cisley Thummel, who lives in her mad uncle's floating castle.

Add a rambunctious boy named Cole, some shifting labyrinths, a closet of whispering ball gowns, and a supernatural sense of smell as Cisley discovers her way to the darkest of family secrets—a black rose.


"Plenty of magic, a touch of romance, an appealing heroine, and a talking lobster lighten Townley's tale of deadly sibling jealousy."
—KIRKUS REVIEWS