When a powerful desert spirit kidnaps her sister, Cece Rios must learn forbidden magic to get her back in this #ownvoices middle grade fantasy debut perfect for fans of Storm Runner and Aru Shah and the End of Time.
Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous—especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits break free from their home in Devil’s Alley to threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas who roamed the desert, much to her family’s disapproval. After all, it’s common knowledge that only brujas—humans who capture and control criaturas—consort with the spirits, and brujería is a terrible crime.
When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, everyone in town believes she’s lost forever. But Cece knows she can bring Juana back. To get into Devil’s Alley, though, she’ll have to become a bruja herself—while hiding her quest from her parents and her town. Thankfully, a legendary criatura with a soft spot for humans has agreed to help her on her journey. With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family—and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way. Ages 8 to 12.