Magic is power, and power is magic...<br> <br> Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a formidable castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.<br> <br> Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second. With the help of her Merlin, Eleanor has maintained a stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. While the enchanters faithfully serve the crown, the sun will never set on the Franco-British Empire.<br> <br> As the annual London Season begins, the great and noble families across the globe flaunt their wealth and magic at parties, teas, and, of course, the lavish Bal du Drap d'Or , the Ball of the Gold Cloth.<br> <br> But the talk of the season is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her dazzling beauty to recommend her. Ronan is determined to make a good match to save her family's position. But when she falls for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, her lofty plans are imperiled by her desires.<br> <br> Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans, daughter of the displaced French royal family, finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle arrives in the city bent on reclaiming what is hers. But Marie doesn't even want Leopold-she has lost her heart to a boy the future queen would never be allowed to marry.<br> <br> When Marie comes to Aelwyn, desperate to escape a life without love, the girls form a perilous plan that endangers not only the entire kingdom but the fate of the monarchy. <br> "This character-driven novel has fabulous balls, glitzy gowns, and plenty of drama and plot twists, making it hard to put down." -School Library Journal <br> "The historical fantasy has it all: preening royalty, a touch of magic, and dramatic betrayal. What's not to love?" -Teen Vogue