cover image A Door in the Dark (A Door in the Dark #1)

A Door in the Dark (A Door in the Dark #1)

Scott Reintgen. McElderry, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-66591-868-8

Six teenage wizards are stranded in the wilderness after a spell goes awry in this pulse-pounding series launch from Reintgen (the Ashlords duology). Balmerick University scholarship student Ren Monroe may be talented, but she lacks the connections necessary to secure employment at one of the wealthy, powerful political houses in the hierarchical city of Kathor. That is, until disaster strikes. Ren and five classmates—including two house heirs—are traveling via portal when something misfires and drops them in the Dires, a distant, desolate place where dragons once dwelled and monsters still roam. One person mysteriously dies in transit, inspiring distrust among the survivors, but since Kathor is too far for transport via sorcery, the group must join forces to return on foot. Though the long, dangerous trek is further complicated by limited resources, Ren determines it a serendipitous opportunity to impress the heirs and obtain placement in one of their houses—provided that they all live. Reintgen combines inventive worldbuilding, intricate plotting, and a strongly developed, racially diverse cast to craft a twisty tale of classism, redemption, and revenge. Tense prose and escalating environmental, magical, and social conflicts foster constant fear for the characters’ fates. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary. (Mar.)