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The Key & the Flame

The Key & the Flame

For Ages: 8 - 12
In this middle-grade fantasy adventure, a gutsy girl unlocks a magical universe—and the danger that lies within.

Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard longs for adventure, some escape from her humdrum life. That is precisely what she gets when she is given an old iron key that unlocks a door—in a tree.

Holly crosses the threshold into a stunning and magical medieval world, Anglielle. And as she does so, something unlocks within Holly: a primal, powerful magic. Holly is joined on her journey by two tagalongs—her younger brother Ben, and Everett, an English boy who hungers after Holly’s newfound magic and carries a few secrets of his own.When Ben and Everett are sentenced to death by the royals, whose fear of magic has fueled a violent, systemic slaughter of all enchanted creatures, Holly must save them and find a way back home. But will she be able to muster the courage and rise above her ordinary past to become an extraordinary hero?
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  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 480 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442457416 | 
  • April 2013 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
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List Price $17.99
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Wish

Holly Shepard lived on a block of identical houses in the middle of the American Midwest. It might have been mildly interesting if she had lived in the exact middle, but when Holly looked it up, she saw that her suburb was off by a few hundred miles, so it lacked even that distinction. She attended a midsize school in a town that was neither bustling with glittering skyscrapers and dark alleyways nor quaint with eccentric musicians and Main Street bookshops. Everyone bought clothes at the same mall and saw movies at the thirty-theater megaplex and ate dinner at the same reasonably priced... see more

About the Author

Claire M. Caterer
Photo by antisdel.s

Claire M. Caterer

Claire M. Caterer is a copyeditor by day and an author by night. She lives in Kansas with her family. She is the author of The Key & the Flame and the forthcoming The Wand & the Sea. Visit her at




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