Reviewed by Liz Grzyb
Secret Ones is the first in the Dream of Asarlai trilogy from Australian author Nicole Murphy. It follows Maggie, a teacher who has a talent for annoying the wrong people and a big secret. She’s not quite human. She is one of the Gadda, magical beings who look and seem to be indistinguishable from humans, apart from their amazing and sometimes terrifying talent with magic. Secret Ones starts with Maggie being banished from Sclossin, the Gadda enclave in Ireland, back to her family’s home in Australia. She resigns herself to a long while in banishment, until the arrival of Lucas, an intriguing American stranger who seems to have all the hallmarks of being Gadda, but doesn’t seem to belong to any of the known clans. As they become closer, we find out that there is something much bigger afoot than Maggie’s disgrace: someone is sending magical monsters to harm her grandfather. Can the two work together to save the family, and the Gadda, from this new threat?