J. Elle has set readers up for a sequel with her book House of Marionne. Set in New Orleans as well as in alternate realms where magic dwells, the novel features Raquell Janae Marionne (aka Quell) who has magic in her veins. But, it’s toushana, a form of black magic about which little is known. So, Quell wonders if she is a Darkbearer with poison in her veins. Taught to be cautious and afraid, Quell and her mother are constantly on the move, hiding from those who might wish to quiet Quell’s magic permanently.

After running since she was five years old, Quell steps into a world where she has the ability to sharpen her focus and awaken her ability to perform magic. Feeling like a clueless idiot in this magical realm, Quell wishes to wield the greatest mysteries of the world, something her mother has not nurtured. However, Quell discovers not only that all magic has a cost but that her confusion multiplies as she misses her mother terribly.

At her grandmother’s estate, Chateau Soleil, Quell meets Jordan Wexton, a Dragun who is one of the enforcers of decorum in the Order of the Highest Mysteries. Jordan commands attention in a room. Everything about him seems calculated and precise. Always in control, he moves with dominance and confidence—feelings that are entirely foreign to Quell. As Quell’s mentor, Jordan can guide Quell, but for Quell, duty is the death of freedom, and she refuses to live in a cage.  With every discovery about her power, more questions emerge: How can she best manage and control her magic while hiding her forbidden toushana? Whom can she trust? What is her destiny? How can she reunite with her mother?

Elle weaves a mysterious and enchanting tale as Quell learns to keep parts of herself hidden while also learning the cost of that decision. With her mind spiraling and heart racing, Quell has to solve the mystery of the Sphere’s cracking, the disappearance of certain girls, and her grandmother’s secrets.

Although this is a fantasy about characters who manipulate magic, readers also learn that friendship is a magic all its own and that love is deeper than magic. We further glean that the only way to truly be free, we have to resist fighting against who we really are. As Quell learns to chase courage, she inspires us all to nurture our power and to embrace our true identities.

  • Posted by Donna

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