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Twelve-year-old Esther Mettlestone-Staranise loves reading books and writing stories but is troubled by low self-esteem and recurring bad dreams. When she starts the year at boarding school in earnest, she quickly notices something isn't quite right. Her two best friends are mysteriously missing. There are rumors her new teacher is secretly an actual ogre. And the scenic mountains of her quaint little town are teeming with Shadow Mages and danger. As secrets and dangers escalate, Esther must find the answers to several puzzles. Why is her teacher behaving so oddly? Which of Esther's classmates is the Spellbinder, and can they really protect the school from gathering hordes of Shadow Mages? Could the Stolen Prince of Cloudburst be connected? How can Esther – who is not talented like her sisters, nor an adventurer like her cousin, but just Esther – save her family, her school and possibly her entire world? For Ages 10 and up.