Fyre (Septimus Heap #7) by Angie Sage

PROLOGUE: HARBINGER A flame burns at midnight. On an island in the wild Marram Marshes, a young woman holds up a lantern. Her long dark hair blows in the warm wind, salty from the sea; the lantern light glints off the gold circlet around her head and the golden edging to her long red robes—the robes of a Castle Queen. The Queen is not alone. Beside her is an old man with long, wavy white hair held back with an ExtraOrdinary Wizard headband. He is resplendent in purple robes richly embroidered with Magykal symbols—this is the very first ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Hotep-Ra. The island on which they stand is an ancient Listening Place, and Hotep-Ra is Listening carefully. As he stands statue-still, absorbed in something far away, his frown deepens. “It is as I feared,” he whispers. “They have discovered me at last.” The Queen does not understand Magyk, but she respects it because it once saved her daughter’s life. She nods sadly. She knows that this will take Hotep-Ra away from her forever. A flame burns at half past midnight. The Queen and Hotep-Ra are underground, and the light from the lantern shows a smooth white wall
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