Robert Nobel, the school pariah, triumphs over his own fears and the school bully, in this extraordinary tale of self-empowerment, legend and death. Robert is a boy who can do anything – or so old Edith Sorrel at the nursing home tells him. Robert doesn’t think so, knowing as he does that he is the school geek. But something compels him to do what Edith asks – to visit old Chance House, where a boy once fell to his death from the top floor flat, to confront his fears and find some answers. Niker the bully thinks this is a great laugh. He challenges Robert to spend the night at Chance House with him – but there the balance of power changes, and it is Robert who proves to be the stronger. Niker feels threatened by the change – and when he finds out Robert’s secret obsession, to make the dying Edith Sorrel a coat of feathers like in the old legend of the Firebird, he knows just how to wrest his old power back. But just how important is the coat of feathers? Could it really save Edith’s life?
In a world ruled by six ancient Houses of Magic, a girl and a boy begin an epic and dangerous journey of discovery …After her parents’ murder, 13-year-old Lilith “Lily” Shadow rules Gehenna from Castle Gloom, an immense and windowless citadel. Once Lily’s ancestors commanded spirits, communed with the dead, and raised armies from out of the grave. But now her country is about to be conquered by the Shadows’ ancient enemies \- the Solars, the lords of light. Thorn is a peasant boy, wily and smart, sold into slavery and desperate to escape. So when he’s bought by Tyburn, executioner to House Shadow, he’ll agree to just about anything – even to serving Castle Gloom for a year and day in order to earn his freedom. When Lily is nearly poisoned by a ruthless and unknown assassin, she and Thorn embark on a dangerous quest to save Gehenna, a weird and wonderful land of haunted castles, mysterious forests and an unforgettable giant bat. Together they must unravel a twisted plot of betrayals, pride and deadly ambition.