In Gelia City, magic is music: a constant ever-changing melody known as the Strains. Hereditary ability to use the Strains divides the city into two classes: the wealthy Highmost, who can access the full potential of the Strains, and the Common tradesmen, who are limited to mundane spells, known as beggar magic.
Common teen Leilani rescues and befriends a gifted Highmost girl, Zebedy. The girls’ friendship opens Leilani’s eyes to the world of the Highmost. They become an inseparable team, ready to take on anything with the Strains at their back.
However, beneath the polished, academic facade of the Highmost manors lurks a threat to the Strains. An unknown force consumes their music, leaving only heart-rending silence behind.
“Unlike so many angsty heroines, Leilani deserves and honestly earns her triumph with those rare qualities, common sense and cool nerve in emergencies. She also displays a healthy self-worth that enables her to hold her own against the more privileged, and recognize true worth in others.”
“This was fun and refreshing, but the thing that most endeared this book to me was Brick, the deaf guard. His handicap is written with honesty and love–Leilani is first shy and awkward, then gets to know him, and learns to love him for who he is.”
Author note: I was playing with the concept of how people are so addicted to technology (if the internet is down, nothing gets done), and I wanted to explore a world where magic was like the internet and people were crippled when deprived of it. I also wanted to see this world through the eyes of a more practical person who couldn’t access the magic or access as much of it and contrast how she approached problems with the others in her society.