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Nora Fischer has lost everything: dumped by her boyfriend, her dissertation going nowhere fast, her life an empty shell. She decides she needs an escape. In this ambitious, densely packed debut by journalist Barker, Nora finds that instead of getting a small break from normality, she has escaped into another world in which magic exists-and is not as cute and cuddly as she might have imagined. Though the story starts with a classic tale of unpleasant fairies working their will, it morphs into something deeper and more nuanced when Nora meets the magician Aruendiel. Barker weaves together classic fantasy and romantic elements (including shout-outs to Pride and Prejudice and hints of Wuthering Heights) to produce a well-rounded, smooth, and subtle tale. Agent: Emma Sweeney, Emma Sweeney Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.