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One night a year. A magical spectacular. Villains only.

Fourteen-year-old Ivy has trained for years to nail her audition at the annual Villains' Convocation and Circus Spectacular. It's the night when all proper would-be villains can audition for apprenticeships. And she has so many plans for the world once she uses her potions to rule it.

She didn't count on Ben stumbling into her way. He dreams of being a magical pastry chef—of the non-evil variety. Thinking the VCCS is one of the many magical troupes touring the world, he jumps at the chance to audition with his food. Running away with the circus sounds like a great idea after his parents forbade him to ever bake again.

When Ben feeds the villains happiness cookies (the horror), only the quick thinking of Ivy saves him from certain death. But helping Ben makes her tank her audition. So instead of an apprenticeship to the most super of supervillains, Ivy has to go live with the Ringmistress—the woman who brews up the circus every year, carrying the tent to the gathering in a bottle. Ivy doesn't want to facilitate evil. She wants to be evil. Working for a mediocre villain means there's no chance of that anymore.

At least not until Ivy realizes Ben lives next door to the Ringmistress. And now he owes her a favor. If he can help her collect the right ingredients, maybe she can brew her way back into the evil limelight. Only she didn't count on Ben or his baking rubbing off on her.