The Salbine Sisters is a religious order and Sister Maddy is among the novitiates who must learn to draw the elements in order to advance to "adept" and then a full fledged Mistress of Salbine. She was assigned to learn the skill from Mistress Lillian and in the course of things the two began an affair which they are unsuccessful in keeping secret.
Unfortunately it turns out that Maddy has a problem with drawing on the elements. The story really begins as she tries to learn what her place is in the Order if she is unable to accomplish this skill most commonly associated with a true Sister of the Order.
Maddy's journey to find herself touches many others as well. It's a good story, though it could have used a tighter editor. There were several passages that were telling rather than showing, and many more words used than necessary to convey the story.
I liked Maddy and her mistress, Lillian, grew on me. Many of the other characters were less defined, but served their purposes in the story.
In any case, this is a good fantasy read, with a well-developed and consistent world, and though a bit expected in its twists at times, a solid story arc.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)