Cecily Perrin has just turned thirteen. In 1500s England, for most girls this might bring a new skirt and cap, or maybe the boys would come courting. But Cess is not most girls. She is a bastard, with no father and no friends. She lives with her mother, both of them village outcasts. She is lucky to have a roof over her head and her job as a poultry girl at the local lord’s estate. She wishes she could look like a lady. She wishes she knew something about her father—anything! On her birthday, she wishes with all her heart that today will be different.
If only her wishes came true the way her dreams often did! Since she was a little girl, Cess has had premonitions, but learned quickly to keep quiet about them, lest she be accused of being a witch.
Cecily’s birthday wish comes true when she finds an unusual and valuable locket in the chicken coop. But it’s May Day, and as the local festivities begin, the locket and the Maypole get overshadowed by the disappearance of several boys, including her only friend, William. The villagers fear that it may be the work of witches, and their suspicions turn to Cess.
Cess must find William before it’s too late. In her quest to save him, and prove her innocence, she becomes entangled in the dark and dangerous world of political intrigue. Aided by the local coven, Cess calls upon her powers to rescue William and battle the perilous forces that swirl around her, threatening her life, her village, and England itself!
A strong sense of time and place makes this paranormal adventure worth reading. The often disgusting details about daily life in the late 1500s will fascinate budding fans of historical fiction. 256 pages
Reviewed by Leslie Rush, Teacher, Texas