We loved this tale!
Clementine is the daughter and heir apparent to the local Dark Lord, her father, Lord Elithor.
But when he starts to whittle away, turning to wood and losing shavings in a quite literal and painful daily whittling by a curse-wielding usurper, the magic that keeps the castle silent and the scarecrows doing all the work breaks down.
Looking for help, Clementine takes her book of spells, which isn't a book at all, but a Gricken (grimoire + chicken) that lays spell-eggs but only when it thinks she's ready for them, into the forest. She's saved by a magical beast hunter, who pretends to befriend her, and a boy, who catches a sword (one of a zillion planted in the sword garden) thrown by the Lady of the Lake to become a knight and defender of the castle.
As Clementine learns to use her own magic, and as her father's spells disintegrate ever faster, she realizes his dark illusions hid something far more powerful -- and perhaps threatening -- than she ever suspected. Can she keep it safe?
Enjoy the read!