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I believe that I either read this, or listened to it as an audiobook, somewhere in the last three years (2017-2020) due to me associating it with a particular commute on the Pittsburgh public transit. It was a book that I either read as an ebook, or listened to via an electronic copy. The protagonist (not sure if they were male or female) was younger than an adult, and had some sort of magical gift that led to them competing with other people with such a gift. There were several trials. One involved traveling through town and hitting certain targets. I believe that, for this trial, they were free to pick a mount to ride. I want to say that, at the outset, some characters were disqualified for them picking mounts that were not valid under the rules. The protagonist misses most of the targets, but scores some rare and high-scoring target in the town. I want to say that it had something to do with a fountain. Some time later, they're in a different trial in a dream world. I have this vague memory of one of the characters being up in a lamppost or a tree, basically staying away from the danger, and the protagonist convincing them to jump into a lake, which turns out to be something which brings them to a later step in the contest, with some commentary about how these competitions are usually more competitive than cooperative.

I have a few other vague memories. The protagonist was in a house that was largely vacated. At some point, they messed with a part of the house that they were not meant to be in, and there was some sort of drama involving shadow puppets that turned into real things (I think they may have stolen a key that led to a forbidden wing of the house?. And I think the protagonist was sponsored by a renowned mage who had a son who lacked that sort of power, which might have led to some ill will toward the protagonist being a better heir. And I think she was maybe considered cursed at the outset, something where she was close to being lynched at the outset until she was sponsored by that mage.

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After browsing through my ebook history, I came upon The Trials of Morrigan Crow, and I'm pretty sure it's a match.

A cursed girl escapes death and finds herself in a magical world - but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart - an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests - or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

It has the cursed child. It has the trials. Requesting a copy to verify the largely empty house, the heir who doesn't quite measure up, and the shadow puppet magic.

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