From enchanted champagne flutes to rituals that hold the city together, magic lies at heart of Cassaforte. Bearing a striking resemblance to Venice, this medieval city of canals is the home of Risa Divetri, whose future is about to be decided. Risa has led the sheltered life of a nobleman's daughter, but now she's on the brink of adulthood. Soon she will leave home to study the family craft-creating and enchanting glass objects. The gods will choose which school is best for her. But then the impossible happens: Risa remains unchosen. The gods don't need her? The rejection sends Risa into a spiral of shame, anger, and confusion. If she's not meant to be a glass maker, what will she do? An answer is found when Cassaforte's age-old magic begins to unravel and corruption threatens their kingdom. As she battles against dark forces, Risa's fiery spirit and untapped powers rise to the surface - leading her toward her true fate.
Though he has written primarily under his various aliases before now, Vance Briceland is the award-winning author of several adult and young adult novels, including You Are SO Cursed, a 2005 American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers title. Originally from Richmond, Virginia and a graduate of the College of William and Mary, Briceland moved to Royal Oak, Michigan, where he now lives, to study British literature at Wayne State University. He has since worn many hats, each more fantastic than the last, as soda jerk, a paper flower maker in an amusement park, a pianist for a senior citizens’ show tunes choir, an English teacher, a glass artist, and a novelist. While he does not blow glass, Briceland is a stained glass window and panel lamp artist and also works with kiln-formed glass, where the heat only gets up to about 1,500 degrees. He says, “The much higher temperatures involved in blowing glass scare me!”