Thanks everyone for the feedback. I've revised this with your comments in mind.
Lady Margaté wants to ruin Jinxx’s life. Not just make it uncomfortable, but send the fourteen year-old seamstress and apprentice mage begging for coins in the street. As Baroness-in-Waiting, Margaté can do whatever she desires, and she believes Jinxx’s family is responsible for her father’s death.
Jinxx is hired by Margaté’s mother to make Margaté a quinceañera dress. Margaté wants a comfortable dress; her mother wants grand one. Whichever dress Jinxx makes, the dissatisfied, powerful woman will punish her for it.
While working in the castle, Jinxx discovers a hidden, enciphered note. After breaking the code, she realizes Margaté’s appetite for vengeance is worse than she imagined: she’s framing the local priest for molesting a girl. The priest doesn’t believe Margaté is behind the anonymous accustation, even after Jinxx shows him the note. Nor does a second one convince him, but Jinxx knows Margaté isn’t going to stop at an accusation: her next step will be violent.
Reliant on crutches, Jinxx is the worst sneak in the world and a dreadful liar. She has one advantage: her secret magic studies. If she can learn how to cast a spell, any spell, she might be able to prove Margaté is guilty.
THE BETRAYER’S CYPHER is a 90,000 word YA fantasy novel set in a world reminiscent of late eighteenth century Andalusia, full of flamenco duende. The story has elements Valynne Maetani’s INK AND ASHES mixed with Mary Robinette Kowal’s GLAMOURIST HISTORIES and spiced it with a good shake of GLEE.
I don't think this is quite working, but not sure how to get on track:
Fourteen year-old Jinxx’s brother didn’t cause Lady Margaté’s father’s death, but Margaté doesn’t accept the truth. Instead, she wants revenge and the only way Jinxx can keep her at bay is making her the perfect dress—one that’s irreconcilable with the one Margaté’s mother is paying for. If Jinxx makes the dress Margaté demands, she’ll never work again. If the dress meets Margaté’s mother’s wishes, well, Margaté has a passion for swords.
While working in the castle, Jinxx discovers a hidden, enciphered note. When she breaks the code, she realizes Margaté’s appetite for vengeance is worse than she imagined: she’s planning on ruining the local priest, too, and isn’t averse to a violent solution. The priest doesn’t believe Jinxx when she shows him the notes—in Jinxx’s handwriting, with her substitution of letters for numbers. Nor does a second deciphered note convince him. Relying on crutches to walk, Jinxx is the worst sneak possible, but she has to find evidence strong enough to convince a noble before Margaté goes too far. But Jinxx has a secret of her own: she’s studying magic. If she can learn how to use it in time, she might just save her friend end survive.
The Betrayer’s Cypher is a 90,000 word YA fantasy novel set in a world reminiscent of late eighteenth century Andalusia, full of flamenco duende. If you threw Valynne Maetani’s INK AND ASHES into a blender (con leche, por favor) and forced Mary Robinette Kowal’s GLAMOURIST HISTORIES to drink it while watching GLEE, the resulting hallucination might look something like The Betrayer’s Cypher. I’ve taken a master class with Lee & Low Editorial Director Cheryl Klein and published several short stories.