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Finder of Secrets
By: Carol D. Gray
Short and scrawny for her age, Zee Finder was born with a brilliant mind, an excess of curiosity and one of the lowliest magical Talents in all of Sylvan. This was an extremely unfortunate fate since not one single person in her world cared about brilliance or curiosity. Magic was all that mattered in Sylvan, and, sadly, Zee’s magic was paltry.
You see, Zee’s Talent was Finding. She found lost things. She couldn’t help it. Keys, glasses, rings, smelly baby blankets, wallets, children, Zee could find them before their owners even knew they were gone. She could find things miles away, something only exceptional Finders could do, but no one cared and neither did Zee. She could not bear the thought of a life spent chasing after the lost.
What Zee wanted was to learn about real magic, not some lowly Talent. Talents were the poor stepsisters of magic, meant to do small things like catch sunbeams or help plants grow or work with the wind, none of which interested Zee. She wanted to be a Magician and spell it with a capital M. She wanted to pull things out of the air, like her very own bed and a room of her own and nice parents who didn’t die of drink or leave her to become a tree (yes, really, a tree).
But in Sylvan, real magic belonged only to the High-Borns. There were no exceptions. So instead of going to The Oaks, Sylvan’s capital city, to study magic at the Academy, Zee, like all Low-born Sylvan children, left school on her eleventh birthday to apprentice in her Talent. It did not matter in the least whether she wanted to or not.