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I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin.
I made it almost to the end of my front garden.
“Katherine Ann Stephenson!” My oldest sister Elissa’s outraged voice pinned me like a dagger as she threw open her bedroom window. “What on earth do you think you’re doing?”
Curses. I froze, still holding my pack slung across my shoulder. I might be my family’s best chance of salvation, but there was no expecting either of my older sisters to understand that. If... see more
If my plan had worked, I would have woken up the next morning in a stagecoach heading toward London, with a whole new life waiting to unfold before me. I would have breakfasted on apples and cheese with the passengers around me, heard all their stories, and been halfway adopted as an honorary nephew into all their families by the time we reached London.
Instead, I had to face my own family.
I walked into the breakfast room at eight o’clock, and Stepmama’s jaw fell wide open, exposing a mouthful of mashed toast.
“Katherine Ann Stephenson!” she uttered in a dreadful tone.... see more
Reading Group Guide
1. How do the sisters’ personalities differ from one another? What dominant characteristics does each sister possess? How do the sisters help one another based on their strengths and weaknesses?
2. Why does the Stephenson family have such a close bond, even with Charles, who almost ruins the family with his gambling? What role does their father play in the family?
3. Kat and Angeline are both concerned that Elissa will find out they are dabbling in magic. Why is Elissa adamantly against magic? What role does their mother play in Elissa’s attitude?
4. Why is Stepmama so insistent that the girls behave appropriately? What is she ashamed of, and what does this say about her priorities? Why is she willing to marry them off to someone for money instead of love? How does Stepmama’s outlook change by the end of the book?
5. What is the difference between being a Guardian and being a Witch? Why is being a Guardian considered more powerful? Why do Guardians consider witchcraft beneath them?
6. On Kat’s first visit to the Golden Hall, why is she defensive and unwilling to accept her inheritance as a Guardian? Why does she eventually change her mind and accept Mr. Gregson’s offer as a tutor?
7. Kat does everything she can to abandon the golden mirror; why does it always comes back to her? Why does Kat want to return the mirror?
8. Kat’s fi see more