Suddenly Will stilled. The skin over the back of my neck tightened and tingled. I stepped through the scattered toys to stare down at an odd contraption. It was a metal cube, not much larger than a hatbox, with windows cut out on every side. At the center was a heavy-looking orb that reminded me of a cannonball.
Gears twitched on the framework surrounding the orb as a long screw twisted within a metal filigree tube that connected the ball to the solid top of the box. With each ominous tick a ghastly little device that reminded me of a spider on a twisting strand of web moved closer to the ball. With each notch downward a spider leg struck a bit of flint on the spider’s back, setting off a spark.
I leaned closer and detected a terrifying chemical scent.
Dear Lord, it was a bomb.
After her parents died in a fire and her grandfather disappeared, Meg Whitlock thought her life had come to a standstill. But when she learned that the pocket watch her grandfather left her was really an intricate key, Meg, with the help of a stable hand named Will, uncovered the Amusementists: members of an elite secret society dedicated to discovery and shrouded in mystery.
Now the Amusementists are convening in London, and Meg is determined to join their ranks. But being the first girl in the Order has its difficulties, and with Will away in Scotland Meg fears she can’t trust anyone but herself. Her worries are only supported by the sabotage happening at the academy, with each altered invention being more harmful than the last.
With threats lurking around every corner, and while trying to prove her worth as the first female Amusementist, Meg must uncover the identity of the academy’s saboteur before the botched devices become deadly. And after she finds evidence of a sinister and forbidden invention, Meg must stop it – or risk the entire future of the Amusementists.
Rise of the Arcane Fire
Original Hardcover release February 2014
Original Paperback release February 2015