A novel about an Iranian American girl who discovers that her father was secretly a veterinarian to mythical creaturesâand that she must take up his mantle, despite the many dangers.
Once was, once wasnât.
So began the stories Marjanâs father told her as a little girlâfables like the story of the girl who sprung a unicorn from a hunterâs snare, or the nomad boy who rescued a baby shirdal. Tales of extraordinary beasts that filled her with curiosity and wonder.
But Marjanâs not a little girl anymore. In the wake of her fatherâs sudden death, she is trying to hold it all together: her schoolwork, friendships, and keeping her dadâs shoestring veterinary practice from going under. Then, one day, she receives a visitor who reveals something stunning: Marjanâs father was no ordinary veterinarian. The creatures out of the stories he told her were realâand he traveled the world to care for them. And now that heâs gone, she must take his place.
Marjan steps into a secret world hidden in plain sight, where mythical creatures are bought and sold, treasured and trapped. She finds friends she never knew she neededâa charming British boy who grew up with a griffon, a runaway witch seeking magic and homeâwhile trying to hide her double life from her old friends and classmates.
The deeper Marjan gets into treating these animals, the closer she comes to finding who killed her fatherâand to a shocking truth that will reawaken her sense of wonder and put humans and beasts in the gravest of danger.
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