My father and I just finished A Tangle of Gold, book #3 of The Colors of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty.
But I can reaffirm that the end does not justify the means, that one should never believe another is dead until you see the body, and that love and the bonds of friendship can be found in the strangest and most unlikely of places. That and alchemy. And this book gives the terms strange and unlikely a new meaning.
May a Gold ever sprinkle upon you Elliot Baranski & Madeleine, Keira, Princess Ko, Corrie-Lynn Baranski, Sergio, Belle & Jack, King Cetus & Queen Lyra, Agents Tovey and Kim, Abel & Petra Baranski, and all else of the incurably odd and charming Kingdom of Cello.