Abandoned as an infant, Rose has only known the Orphanage - a life of not quite enough food, far too much hard work, and all sorts of rules designed to turn out ideal servants in a Regency-Victorian kind of world. She longs to get out. Not to run away, but simply to finally have a job, earn a wage, and just a tiny fraction more freedom.Being chosen as a new maid in the house of an alchemist, Mr Fountain, is a wonderful development for her, even if the house is a little strange, with its magical auras, extremely spoiled daughter and snobbish apprentice. Rose, of course, proves to have magic of her own, and she'll need it, because children are disappearing and danger strikes close to home both old and new.A short, nicely enjoyable book - nothing particularly original, but engaging and definitely enough to make me want to read what happens next. Rose is an interesting mix, a little contradictory with her vacillation between naive orphan of limited experience, and young woman who is able to stand up for herself.Slight tendency to have tremendously awful and spoiled little rich girls. Not that that doesn't happen, but I felt the need for some balancing almost normal little rich girls.