A Perfect Red recounts the colorful history of cochineal, a legendary red dye that was once one of the world's most precious commodities. Treasured by the ancient Mexicans, cochineal was sold in the great Aztec marketplaces, where it attracted the attention of the Spanish conquistadors in 1519. Shipped to Europe, the dye created a sensation, producing the brightest, strongest red the world had ever seen. Soon Spain's cochineal monopoly was worth a fortune. Desperate to find their own sources of the elusive dye, the English, French, Dutch, and other Europeans tried to crack the enigma of cochineal.
"History of a peculiar substance through the ages"
Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful - and most hunted - girl in England. “Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now, it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing - and soon she is swept away into the darkness.
"Wonderful story for a long car ride"
With a song, Lucy can control the wind and the water; she can bring castles and kingdoms to their feet. Since Lucy mastered her powers, King Henry has kept her close. And now he's called her to investigate attempted murder - by a mermaid. All Lucy can glean from the creature they’ve captured is a warning: The sea is coming. We are coming. And we will drown you all.
"A world you'll never forget."
Lucy is the last Chantress, the only remaining girl who can sing magic into the world. Since she defeated the evil Lord Scargrave, England has changed—and not for the better. With crops failing and the people rebelling, Lucy is called urgently back to King Henry’s court. His Inner Council is convinced that making gold through alchemy will save England. But a critical element to the alchemical process has been stolen. Lucy is tasked with finding it with her magic…or else. And until she succeeds, the castle is on lockdown.
"A musical world, were darkness hides..."