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Mal is a feared and mistrusted blank; someone who cannot be affected by magic in a world where magic is king. When the girl he loves (the only person he trusts) betrays him, he must run, turning to petty crime for survival. But when an opportunity arises to take his revenge, he jumps at the chance, not knowing there are darker secrets than his at play. Atmospheric and twisting, a stellar historical fantasy.
— From Drift and Dagger
In Mal's world, magic is everything. But Mal is a "blank," the anti-magic. Blanks can't be hexed or cursed or saved or killed by magic. And everyone is afraid of them--even Mal himself.
So Mal hides what he is--except from Essie Roe, a witch and his best friend. On the day Essie reveals his secret and casts him out from the only home he's ever known, Mal experiences the true shock of betrayal.
Now Mal travels the world in search of rare, illegal magical relics. When his partner in crime, Boone, hears rumors of a legendary dagger that can steal a witch's power, Mal knows he's finally found his means of revenge. But as the chase for the fabled knife takes them from Boston to Paris to Constantinople, Mal realizes there are secrets afoot that he's only beginning to understand--and all the while the blank monster inside him threatens to escape.
Praise for Drift & Dagger:
"This coming-of-age tale features action, adventure, high seas, magic, betrayals, and danger. Fans of alternate histories will enjoy the author's skillful world-building and fantastic dialogue...This bildungsroman has broad appeal."—SLJ
"Kulper creates a vivid, richly detailed alternative world...Characterizations, particularly the angry, afflicted Mal, pop as vividly as the alternative setting, offering readers an absorbing experience. Unusual and highly engaging."
"Juicy [and] heartbreaking...The world building is strong, surprisingly standing up just as well as in the earlier novel without ever feeling repetitive; this historical fantasy setting, particularly the witch-protected island, is so vibrantly described as to become a character in itself."
"Kulper creates an emotional adventure that will appeal to lovers of fantasy as well as new converts."
—School Library Connection