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The Tavern is healing after Isabel, but Abel still can't solve the puzzle of the magical woodland walk, and until he does, he won't get any nearer the mysterious Gryphon at the centre of Castle House. At least a mystery something draining protection glyphs, and Rachel's campaign for a Life-spark companion, take his mind off his birthday and magical inheritance. Though he can't avoid it, and then the inheritance is like most things magical; huge, frightening, not quite what he expected and not totally under his control. Abel needs time and peace but a magical creature traps Kelis, one that frightens even strong sorcerers and should be extinct. The Taverneers are still recovering from that when their enemies send an assassin. A Hellhound gate-crashes Rob's biggest ever practical joke and gotcha, and the accepted solution doesn't banish it, leaving the Tavereers fighting for their lives. A mix of drained magic and plotting has Abel and the Taverneers on the defensive and even with a bloody-handed, scarlet cloaked sorceress descending on the battlefield, it may not be enough.
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